A bronze tablet celebrates a subway milestone

When the first stretch of the New York City subway opened in 1904—from the old City Hall Station to 145th Street and Broadway—the fanfare was incredible.

A ceremony was held downtown, Mayor George McClellan played motorman on the first trip, excited New Yorkers gathered outside newly built stations, and 25,000 riders per hour packed the trains.

But when the subway reached another milestone four years later—the IRT line was extended to Brooklyn—there was no celebration.

Instead, a bronze tablet was put up inside the Borough Hall Station commemorating the underground uniting of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It’s still there, grimy and easy to miss, on a mezzanine-level wall before the staircases leading to the 4 and 5 platforms.

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5 Responses to “A bronze tablet celebrates a subway milestone”

  1. Newport Carl Says:

    Thanks for the great link to the newspaper article. Made the past come alive

  2. David Palladino Says:

    The original 1904 subway did not go to Lexington and 145th Street. It headed up north along the current #4, 5 and 6 lines and then turned west at Grand Central to Times Square before heading north on the current #1 line. Between Grand Central it used the tracks that are now used by the shuttle. At the end of the Times Square shuttle you can see how the tracks continue to the #1,2, and 3 lines.

  3. 1908: Nellie, the Dog That Christened the IRT East River Subway Tunnel | The French Hatching Cat Says:

    […] sure that she lived in luxury for the rest of her life after the subway was completed. Today, a bronze tablet in the Borough Hall Station commemorating the IRT extension is all that remains of the days a tunnel united Manhattan with […]

  4. Allan B Says:

    To add to David Pallidino’s posting of 11/2/13, the original 1904 line went from City Hall to 145th St & Broadway.

    Service on the Lexington Av line did not begin until 1918.

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