Mikeonbehind the curtain

A Tour of Old City Hall Station in New York, Closed since 1945

The MTA Transit Museum in New York City offers tours throughout the year of old stations, artwork in the stations and nostalgia rides. Generally tours sell out to museum members before being opened to the public, and some tours are for members only. Membership starts at $50 for an individual and $80 for a family of two adults and two children. Once a member, be ready on the day the tickets go on sale to purchase immediately. Some tours, like this Old City Hall Station tour, sell out in hours.

The Old City Hall Station tour is only available to members. City Hall station was the original southern most station of the original IRT line built in 1904. Due to its close proximity to Brooklyn Bridge station, along with the better connections at Brooklyn Bridge, low ridership at City Hall Station, and modifications required for longer trains and movable platform extensions required for new center doors on subway cars, the station was closed in 1945.

The tour departs Brooklyn Bridge station where attendees board a passing 6 train that is about to turn around and head back north again. They do not allow tripods, which makes these low light shots difficult.

One quick stop away attendees alight onto an old curved platform where you quickly notice the ornate detail around you.

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The tile arch system patented just a few years earlier allows the archways to be relatively thin compared to other construction of its day. In addition the unfinished brick wainscoting was done intentionally as a design feature for this station.

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After a few explanations of the history and architecture of the station, attendees were able to walk around and snap photos of the station. The total tour time was approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

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Mind the gap! One of the reasons for the station closure was the expense in retrofitting this station for longer trains, and newer trains that had center doors that required movable platforms. The low ridership didn't justify the expense.

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The station is dirty, covered in steel dust, don't make the mistake I made in this photo and leave your backpack on the ground. 

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We hopped back on the 6 train and continued on the loop that returned us back to Brooklyn Bridge station, this time on the northbound track. Overall it was an interesting tour for any history or train aficionado.

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