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.
New York’s SECRET RAILWAY STATION: beautiful yet IMPOSSIBLE
# The first metro station outside of Europe
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”
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
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…
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)