Posts Tagged ‘subway station art’

A subway art mystery at Spring Street

March 19, 2012

Walk into the Spring Street subway entrance on the C and E line, and you’re greeted by this large, lively mosaic of a multi-track, two-story stop.

It’s titled New York Subway Station, by Edith Kramer.

Except the mosaic doesn’t depict the Spring Street station—it’s a view of Union Square.

Why it’s at Spring Street is a mystery, but in any case, it’s a colorful and enchanting piece of art, and it’s been at the entrance since 1994.

Subway mosaics that supply a little history

May 11, 2010

I’ve always loved the colorful mosaics that decorate certain subway stations. They give you a local history lesson while you’re waiting for your train—when the mosaics aren’t too grimy, that is.

The Borough Hall stop on the 2 and 3 line features this colonial-looking borough hall building (left).

At Christopher Street, the platform is lined with mosaics of Newgate prison (right), which jutted out into the Hudson around Christopher and West Streets until the 1820s.

Images of Peter Stuyvesant’s Bouwerie (left) adorn Union Square, close to where the original Bouwerie was in the early 19th century.

And of course, there are the train mosaics (right) at Grand Central Terminal, a tribute to railway titan Cornelius Vanderbilt, who opened Grand Central Depot in 1871.

Colorful tiles and terra cotta in the subway

April 4, 2009

You have to hand it to the transit officials in charge of designing subway platforms a century ago. They insisted that stations feature colorful ceramic tiles, terra cotta, and mosaics, and that the design elements be unique to each stop.

Today the MTA continues to restore these decorative motifs. They give each station a little bit of enchantment and a glimpse into the past.

Here’s the J for the Jefferson stop on the L train, in Bushwick:


The number 5 on this 50th Street sign for the 1 train harkins back to an Art Deco era:


A long, fat F for Fulton Street, downtown:


The Brooklyn Bridge 6 stop, with its backward B that looks hand-stenciled:


Eagle eyes in the subway

July 4, 2008

Eagles like these line the platform of the 33rd Street 6 station, a reminder of the armory that once stood on Park and 33rd, where Norman Thomas High School is now. Happy Fourth o’ July!