The "Jewel In The Crown": why is this station closed since 1945?

credits: Il lato Positivo su youtube

About 5.5 million New York commuters use the subway every day, though perhaps not everyone is aware of a mysterious and inaccessible place that has been hidden for over a hundred years. Let’s find out what it’s about.


# The first metro station outside of Europe

credits: Il Lato Positivo su YouTube

New York, 1904 – The first subway outside of Europe was built. In order to be able to use it, New Yorkers would have to pay a nickel. Over 15.000 people gathered at the entrance of City Hall to be the first to travel in the new carriages. The station from where the first NYC subway train departed was a real gem.

# The “Crown Jewel”

credits: @architecturalvisits su IG

Thanks to its unusual location, the station where the first ride took place was referred to as “The Jewel In The Crown”: it was located just below Manhattan’s City Hall. Because of its extraordinary architecture, City Hall Station is considered a masterpiece.

Its vaulted ceilings, decorated with delightful skylights illuminating the metro station with natural light, are nothing short of impressive. To further embellish its interior, large golden chandeliers were installed in the darker areas of the station. Additionally, its ceilings were lined with emerald green tiles, another distinctive feature of the station.

# The GHOST station: closed because of its curved shape

credits: @kerrybhoy65 su IG

Despite its beauty, the old City Hall station has been closed for many years and has, indeed, become a ghost station. Why is this station closed since 1945?

Although the reasons are many, almost all were related to practical issues: the station was not equipped with turnstiles, consequently making it difficult for people to access it. Moreover, the station lacked an express train platform, making it unattractive to most passengers. Commuters tended to opt for the Brooklyn Bridge station, which offered the service they required whilst being only a few blocks away. Furthermore, over time subway cars were modified and made longer. This meant that travelling to City Hall was no longer feasible, due to the curved shape of the platform.

# An almost INACCESSIBLE place…

credits: Il lato Positivo su youtube

Although there actually is a way to visit it, the hidden station is now considered an inaccessible place. As a matter of fact, it can only be visited under certain circumstances – i.e. becoming a member of the New York Transit Museum and participating in guided tours.


(Original article by Selene Mangiarotti)

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My name is Laura and I live in Italy with my husband, 2 gorgeous daughters and Spritz…our little dog…he is part of the family too :-) As a mum I try to be the best example for my daughters, we like to spend time together and we share a passion: we love playing the piano! They know I am always there for them and can talk about anything – this is one of things in my life I am so proud of. I am a very strong woman who works professionally with a positive approach and mindset and never gives up. I am also very detailed oriented (thanks also to my criminology degree back at the Uni) and like helping others and guide them to a more positive lifestyle-approach and support them through difficulties. I like challenges and I am always keen on learning and improve myself. I believe this is the reason why I am so excited about this new adventure with the group!