Posts Tagged ‘Port Authority Bus Terminal’

The commuters in the Port Authority bus station

June 20, 2013

Toward the mostly-empty Ninth Avenue side of the Port Authority Bus Terminal are three tired, rumpled workers waiting by a departure door for a bus to bring them back to the Jersey suburbs.


“The Commuters,” by sculptor George Segal, have been standing patiently in line here since 1982.

This triptych is an homage to the hordes who pass through the Port Authority’s grimy, fluorescent-lit interior each morning and again in the evening, year after year.

Portauthoritybusterminal“These are long-suffering people,” Segal said in a 1982 People article. “I have a high regard for them.”

Cast in bronze and white patina, they resemble some of Segal’s other work, such as the male and female couples in Christopher Park, the little triangle at Sheridan Square.

Segal viewed aimed to depict commuters as heroic. No wonder these three have struck a chord over the years.

The Port Authority as you’ve never seen it before

October 17, 2011

Is this really the way the 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal once looked? The postcard doesn’t lie.

When it opened in 1950, replacing several smaller bus stations that dotted Manhattan, the bus terminal—then spanning 40th to 41st Streets—featured a spiffy Art Deco exterior.

In the late 1970s, it was expanded to 42nd Street and fitted with the X-shaped steel trusses it still sports today—a design that put the terminal on a 2008 list of the 10 ugliest buildings.

“Those who pass by this iron monstrosity might be tempted to ask about a completion date, but alas, this is the finished product,” wrote, which put out the list.

“Hated by New Yorkers and tourists alike, this aptly named station is enough to make you take the train.”

A left behind subway sign at 42nd Street

February 11, 2010

I’m not sure when this sign dates to—the 1970s? The 1960s? Whenever New Yorkers still referred to trains by their old transit company initials rather than the letter or number.

Anyway, it sure doesn’t match the current New York City Transit sign motif.

It’s positioned high, almost out of view, just inside the 42nd Street A C E station as you enter the station from the lower level of the Port Authority.

The Whales of the Port Authority Bus Terminal

April 13, 2009

Sea life at the Port Authority? It’s easy to miss this 400-foot marine-themed mural, since it’s located in the dark and grimy 41st Street underpass through which Greyhound and New Jersey Transit buses regularly lumber through.

But one-name artist Wyland painted one of his 400-foot Whaling Walls here in 1993, coloring an exterior wall of the Port Authority in blues and greens and black.


Wyland’s Whaling Walls, featuring humpbacks, blue whales, and other marine creatures, exist all over the world. There must be an interesting back story as to how this one ended up pretty much hidden away in an urban underpass, out of view of commuters and passerbys.