666 LaundromatSatan's Laundromat

42nd Street lower level


Gettin loose on forty doose

Reflection of silhouette



To upper platform


Kitchen sink

42nd St / KP74

Stairway to the Seahonk

Sitting on platform edge


Warning: Any person interfering or meddling with this escalator or its mechanism is liable to arrest and prosecution in accordance with the penal law of this state.  Board of Transportation, City of New York.


(click for larger panorama, 1750x422, 174kb)

The lower-level platform at the 42nd Street/Port Authority station on the 8th Avenue subway, located directly beneath the downtown platform, was built in 1932 but "only used from 1959 to 1981 for odd services like the Aqueduct Racetrack special fare trains, and for rush hour E trains for a period during the 1970s," according to nycsubway.org's 42nd Street page, which continues: "It isn't really clear why this lower level was even built."

I suspect that the tilework was not done until the '50s, because it more closely resembles the postwar IND stations (like Liberty through Euclid Avenues) than any of the original stations.

Rumor has it that the only reason for the platform's existence was to block the 7 train from expanding to the west. Indeed, current plans call for the demolition of the lower level if the city succeeds in extending the 7 train to the Javits Center. Already, a former escalator (which can be seen here in a 1996 photo) has been removed.

This is just one of many never-fully-used vestiges of the IND subway system. Another is Bergen Street lower level.


More subway tunnel shots here, here, and here.

Accessing prohibited sections of the subway can be hazardous or fatal. Do not attempt it.

12:01 AM | Comments (31) | TrackBack (2)


Fantastic photos! Any abandoned area, especially those abandoned for no apparent reason, has me curious. Keep up the exploration!

Posted by: Adam at February 25, 2004 02:42 AM

NICE! You made it! Awesome photos man!!

Posted by: Clayton at February 25, 2004 02:58 PM

These are great. Love the abandoned subway photos!

Posted by: Amy at February 25, 2004 10:01 PM

Great shots. The tile here is VERY bizarre!

Did you try the tap on that sink? :) I wonder if it works?

Posted by: Dante D. at February 25, 2004 11:27 PM

What a great series of shots - you've done a great job of documenting this topic. I particularly like the first and sixth images (the motion blur against the tiles) - they really capture the atmostphere.

Posted by: djn1 at February 26, 2004 05:51 AM

i like the picture of that sign. funny how it says meddling.

and when did you add that disclaimer to your site after the posts?

Posted by: tien at February 27, 2004 11:11 AM

Yeah, "meddling" is fine. They don't make 'em like they used to.

What disclaimer, the "can be hazardous or fatal"? It was there from the beginning.

Posted by: Mike at February 27, 2004 11:25 AM

i meant, has it been on all posts of similar nature? or is it just on this post. i didn't notice it until this morning.

Posted by: tien at February 27, 2004 11:51 AM

It's on all the subway-related posts. Maybe it's unnecessary, but I don't want to encourage anyone to go down there.

Posted by: Mike at February 27, 2004 11:54 AM

Very nice pics, a little spooky.. :o)

Posted by: kbirk at February 27, 2004 02:07 PM

Makes me wish I had some abandoned subways around me to check out! Great shots.

Posted by: monkeyinabox at February 27, 2004 02:10 PM

I'm absolutely amazed. I'm live in Singapore (studied in Arizona) and our relatively new train stations are spiffy to the point of being clinical. It would be interesting to see if they'll stay that way down the line.

Posted by: Lucian at February 28, 2004 12:12 AM

In essence, this is NYC's answer to Aldwych on the Underground -- a station that was built for demand that really wasn't there?

Posted by: dw at March 3, 2004 08:06 PM

These remind me of the anime, "The Big O". Really great pictures!

Posted by: Razor at March 5, 2004 12:01 AM

great photos!

what have you seen of the lower subway level at CITY HALL in MANHATTAN and why are there chained outdoor stairways in MADISN PARK leading to some subway?

Posted by: michael at March 24, 2004 05:27 PM

I think that these pictures are very good. I wonder what is going to happen to this station.

Posted by: Salvatore at April 11, 2004 07:44 PM

The station was not tiled until 1959 and the underpass was open until 1988. Few ventured down there alone because it was a dark and eeire place, almost like now but a bit brigheter and cleaner. If you watch the movie Ghost you'll get a better idea how the platform looked before. Extra lights were installed for the movie though.

Posted by: Nighteye at April 20, 2004 12:17 PM

I'm going to say that I'm fascinated, and whatever disclaimer, there's a part of me that would love to go down there. I've heard of a documentary called "Dark Days" which concerns a group of people, a pretty large group, who live under Penn Station. I have heard of a woman who wrote a book about them too, but apparently she made a lot of it up, and she can't seem to find the way down there anymore, because it, "happened so long ago", and she forgot in the excitement of it. Never mind that she was supposed to have made dozens of trips down there. I'd bet on the movie before the book.

Posted by: Amber at June 28, 2004 06:16 AM

I just flew back from NY, and was feverously trying to find some sort of underground tour that existed. People that I know in NY wimped out on an excursion. Probably a good idea since 9-11.

So are there still a lot of people living down there? The so called "Mole People".

And what about the claim that there are 15 levels deep claimed by Dark Pasage? I wonder if there are abandoned levels originally from the tunnels first digs.

PS. This subject has interested me ever since my infatution with "Escape from NY and the Warriors.

Posted by: Mark at July 3, 2004 07:15 PM

hey i like your pics! im currently designing a computer game level bases on the subway pics you posted. the game is Half-Life, or Counter-Strike. ill post a screenshot for you to see when im finished.

Posted by: Daniel at August 14, 2004 10:08 PM

In looking at the pictures that were taken this subway station was used in two movies one of them was Death Wish in 1974 with Charles Bronson and the other one was GHOST in 1990 with Patrick Swayze but at the time these movies were made that station was still opened.

Posted by: Peter Bellanza at July 3, 2005 11:35 PM

Nice work ..

Posted by: Navdeep at August 3, 2005 05:53 AM





Posted by: PARKITA at August 31, 2005 03:25 PM

esta pagina es pura basura

Posted by: eze at September 9, 2005 08:27 PM

q mierda esta pagina la verdad es una garcha peor q peor aguante satan es to es mentira las boludeces q pusieron a ca en esta pagina del orto q verdadera mierda vallan con dios hijos de la concha de sus madres.

Posted by: sasarasasa at September 9, 2005 08:29 PM

What a wonderful set of pictures - you've made this armchair urban explorer quite pleased.

Posted by: Meredith at September 28, 2005 04:35 PM


Posted by: JIM at November 17, 2005 07:43 PM

Urbana arhitektura s pridihom mistike. Urban architecture with a touch of a mystic, really cool. Greetings from Slovenia. Bye.

Posted by: aleksander at December 21, 2005 10:44 PM

dela krew MTD
de mexico
ciudad obregon son.

Posted by: level at June 28, 2007 02:25 PM

never even knew of this platform, and i lived in nyc for 35 years. great research!

Posted by: mike at March 28, 2011 04:07 PM

Why is 42nd street stations lower levels referred to as Satan's laundromat? Has there been a reported history of paranormal activity, unexplainable events, high crime or are there urban legends? I am simply curious and am doing a bit of personal research, hence why I am inquiring. In addition have any recent developments changed the state of Station 42 and if so please update me, thank you :)

Posted by: Celeste at April 16, 2011 10:06 PM

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