The old-school subway signs at Chambers Street

Walking through the Chambers Street IRT station on the West Side not long ago, I noticed these tile subway signs, pointing riders in the right direction to the 1, 2, and 3 trains.

The station itself opened in 1918, and the signs look a lot newer than that. It’s kind of nice that the old-school spelling of uptown and downtown remain—with both words broken into two, so the signs read “up town trains” and “down town trains.”

They’re charming touches that take you back in time to a different New York as you make your way to your train. Luckily, other examples of vintage subway signage can be found in and outside various stations through the city.

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7 Responses to “The old-school subway signs at Chambers Street”

  1. keenanpatrick424 Says:

    Agree with you about the spelling. The new spelling connotes the rushed world of today. Astute on your part to notice this subtlety.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I like your interpretation, very astute too!

  3. Carl Reddick Says:

    How can we send you NYC photos of old places you may not have yet found?

  4. Ty Says:

    In Henry James’ Washington Square he has his protagonist venture herself off to an oyster house in “the Seventh Avenue.”

  5. The old-school subway signs at Chambers Street — Ephemeral New York – Naked Cities Journal Says:

    […] via The old-school subway signs at Chambers Street — Ephemeral New York […]

  6. David H Lippman Says:

    Mosaics in New York’s subway lines under Heins and LaFarge and Squire Vickers were serious business. The concept went away with the extended platforms of the 1940s and new stations thereafter. You can see for yourself by riding the route of the original 28 stations…compare the original platforms with the extensions.

  7. Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] subway signage like this can still be found on some platforms. Here’s an example at Chambers Street on the West Side, and another at the Cortlandt Street R train stop telling riders where to go to […]

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