Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station

The B and D stop at Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx isn’t a particularly stunning station.

Opened as part of the IND Concourse Line, the station made its debut during the Depression year of 1933, when transit officials probably weren’t thinking of devoting extra money to beautify an outerborough subway station.

But the station does have two old-timey touches that give it a bit of loveliness and humanity: tile signs letting passengers know which way to go depending on what side of the Grand Concourse—the Bronx’s answer to the Champs Elysees—they needed to get to.

Vintage 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 get to the “Hudson Tubes.” And of course, the stop at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue is a treasure trove of forgotten subway signage.

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7 Responses to “Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station”

  1. countrypaul Says:

    I love the old signage and wish they’d make new signs in the signature tile styles. A bunch of years ago, long after it was outdated, I saw a tile sign at 149th in the Bronx for the Third Avenue Elevated. I don’t specifically remember where, nor know if it is still publicly visible, but to borrow a lyric from The Band, it “sure gave my heart a thrill.”

    • velovixen Says:

      Countrypaul—I recall seeing, a couple of years ago, a tile-sign in the 149th Street-Grand Concourse station (2,4 and 5 lines) for “N.Y. Central Line”—which hasn’t existed since 1968, when it merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad to form Penn Central, which went bankrupt two years later.

  2. Kim Dramer Says:

    Love these signs–and they are in remarkably good condition for their age. Also loving the new art mosaics in many stations. Certainly, it would be a good idea to revive mosaic signs with mosaic art. They will wear well and provide color and vibrancy in stations.

  3. velovixen Says:

    Signs like those are a reminder that the subway was seen as a civilized, and even sophisticated, way to travel—and that people aspired to live on the Grand Concourse. Imagine that you are getting off the train on a cold or rainy day. Getting out of the station on the right side of the station could spare you from having to cross the wide thoroughfare—and a couple of minutes in inclement conditions.

  4. Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station — Ephemeral New York – Duchon Signs Says:

    […] Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station — Ephemeral New York […]

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