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City Hall station


IRT City Hall station, Heins & LaFarge, 1904.

City Hall station has been closed to passengers since 1945 and is definitely the world's most beautiful abandoned subway station, if not its most beautiful subway station of any kind. I hadn't seen the station in about ten years, so it was great to get back there on the occasion of its centennial. More at Bluejake and Amy Langfield.

If you didn't make it to this rare public viewing, you can see the station any time by staying on a downtown 6 train after Brooklyn Bridge station. But it's not quite the same.

Thanks for bearing with me during this site's downtime. I think everything is back to normal now.

12:47 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)


Wow! I have seen pictures of the City Hall Station before, but none that seemed so personal. I sure wish I could have been there.

Posted by: Scott Johnson at October 30, 2004 01:37 PM

Glad SL is back!

Posted by: Joerg at October 30, 2004 01:54 PM

You must have been so jazzed to be at the Centennial. It is indeed the most beautiful station - above or under ground - I have seen. I am glad that while it is no longer used, they look after it.

Just goes to show how observant I am, I didn't even realise the site had been down! Glad it's all fixed though!

Posted by: redcountess at October 30, 2004 02:03 PM


Posted by: Christina at October 30, 2004 04:32 PM

Thank you for these marvelous images.

Posted by: donald morin at October 30, 2004 05:16 PM

Beautiful. Wish I could have seen it with my own eyes but your images are an excellent second best! I live in the UK, your great photographs help to keep my NYC addiction topped up! thanks

Posted by: Martin Riley at October 31, 2004 01:14 PM

Maybe the server died because it was sick of serving this stuff. Another set of badly taken photos of potentially good material takenby an overrated photoblogger! Splendid!

Posted by: Ansel Addams Family at October 31, 2004 02:03 PM

glad you made it there to take pictures for those who didn't.

Posted by: kelli at October 31, 2004 06:41 PM

As ususal Mike, your photos are awesome. I love how you did past essays like the 42nd St. lower level and the Newark Subways. Can you take more photos on other abandoned stations like Myrtle Avenue and De Kalb Ave. on the D Train? Your site rocks!!!

Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2004 07:23 PM

I'm with Ansel.

Posted by: Mike at October 31, 2004 10:00 PM

My god, I would love to go down there. I guess I'll have to try the extended 6 trip. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by: Alexis at October 31, 2004 10:06 PM

I wish I'd known the station was open while I was in New York, I would have loved to see it in person.

Although I risk exposing myself as a child of the late eighties, isn't this the station where they filmed the Ninja Turtles movie 'The Secret of the Ooze'?

Posted by: tara at October 31, 2004 10:27 PM

Great photos too on the old Polo Grounds Shuttle abandoned station at Sedgewick Ave. Please do more photo shoots like that in the future. It's a piece of past NYC history.

Posted by: Steve at October 31, 2004 10:43 PM

Thanks for the great pics!

Posted by: randombanner at November 1, 2004 09:07 AM

Lovely shots of one of NYC's best secret places. I've only had the opportunity to visit the station once, and it looks like they've made an effort to clean and restore it.

Posted by: Larry B at November 2, 2004 02:46 AM

beautiful shots. better w/o the flash though. the last shot is the best i think. i wish i'd known it was going to be open to the public on that day.

Posted by: derek rush at November 10, 2004 06:28 PM

The most beautiful station of any kind?!
You must be kidding, or are you reffering only to the US?
Check this panoramas from Moscow:

Posted by: Zlochko at December 2, 2006 02:42 PM

An interesting idea - comparing subway stations.. City Hall is certainly magnificent and the fact that is isn't open only makes it more interesting.. Arts et Metiers in the Paris Metro is one of the coolest too, like being inside a Jules Verne submarine. There's nothing like to odor if the NYC subway tho.. I am serious.

Posted by: quackbot at December 2, 2006 03:19 PM

THIS IS NOT the most beautiful anything..

Nice pics, sure, but you guys really need to get OUT more.. Do some travelling.. See other cities and countries.. There are subway stations that would put this one to complete shame..

Please dont claim that its THE MOST BEAUTIFUL...

Other countries have us beat, my friend...

Posted by: traveller at December 2, 2006 07:54 PM

Wow, talk about some petulant a-holes commenting toward the end here. Such trivial nonsense to get so offended over. He can't praise something to his heart's content on his OWN site? Whatever. You probably ignored the emphasis on "abandoned" too..

Posted by: JD at September 5, 2008 03:57 AM

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