A gorgeous unaltered station is hidden deep within the New York subway system, where it has been neglected for years with only a select few being aware of its presence. The whole curvature of the station is covered in stunning ornamentation, almost like a tiny replica of Grand Central Station, with lofty tiled arches, brass lighting, and skylights. But isn’t it true that it sounds like something from Harry Potter?
It was built with the intention of being the pinnacle of the New York subway system’s magnificent design and a location for plaques honouring the efforts that had gone into creating such a successful subterranean mass transportation system when it was launched in 1904. It was supposed to serve as the initial “Manhattan Main Line’s” southern terminus, but in 1945 the station was abandoned and boarded up. As passengers were ejected off the train at the Brooklyn Bridge Stop before it went to the terminal to make its turnaround, the subterranean jewel started to accumulate dust, forgotten by the general public.
Its shutdown was caused by the need for newer, longer vehicles to accommodate the volume of people using the system. However, due to the station’s sharply curved rails, a perilous gap developed between the train doors and the platform, making it a deadly spot. This, together with the only 600 users, led to its demise, with only fanciful aspirations to be converted into a transportation museum. But nothing of the kind ever happened.
The 6 Train will now permit passengers who have been informed of the location of the hidden City Hall Station to remain on the train during its turnaround and visit the Station, so you no longer have to take my word for it that it exists. You won’t be able to exit, but you will be given a gradual tour of the platform so you can appreciate how stunning it was when it was first built.
Not only that, but The Underbelly Project has transformed it into a sort of forbidden art gallery. Only urban explorers who prowl the subterranean subway system at night and MTA employees will be able to see this group of street artists’ eerie art display as they have decorated the walls of the ugly concrete regions with their works.
Graffiti artists, including PAC and Workhorse (renowned NYC graffiti artists), found the empty walls and invited other artists to contribute their work, eventually creating over a hundred murals.
However, if you decide to visit these pieces of art, you will almost certainly run the significant chance of getting detained because exploring the tunnels is both risky and unlawful. As I’m quite certain my hunt for art would end in a horror story down in the dark tunnels… or I’d get run over by a train… I’ll simply keep to seeing the images.