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Architectural Designs for New York's First Subway (Framberger)

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Wall treatment showing mosaic name tablet and terra cotta cornice, Times Square/42nd Street station. Photo by David Sagarin, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Engineering Record, August 1978.

Historic American Engineering Record ยท Survey Number HAER NY-122, pp. 365-412.

By David J. Framberger

Historic American Engineering Record
National Park Service
Department of the Interior
Washington, DC. 20240

The records in HAER were created for the U.S. Government and are considered to be in the public domain. It is understood that access to this material rests on the condition that should any of it be used in any form or by any means, the author of such material and the Historic American Engineering Record of the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service at all times be given proper credit. For information on HAER, visit Built In America: Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present, Library of Congress American Memory Project.

Although the IRT was primarily an engineering feat, architecture and interior design were important to the completion of the subway. The architectural elements of the original IRT subway included underground stations, elevated stations, ornamental control houses, kiosks, the main power house, eight power sub-stations, and rolling stock.

The architecture of the subway can be classified generally as 20th-century traditional -- that is, architecture that "derives its sanctions from the traditions of the further past."1 The use of the word traditional here refers to the vocabulary of ornamental motifs that were applied to subway construction. Although traditional, the architectural elements exhibit both an academic and a stylized approach to design. In addition, the subway system reflects the intellectual and artistic temperament of the turn-of-the-century era and, most importantly, makes clear the working relationship of the architect and the engineer.

References to the artistic treatment of the subway were rare during the early deliberations of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners, most likely because the more pressing technological and financial issues were still undetermined. The Rapid Transit Commission Report of 1891 does, however, state that every effort should be made "in the way of painting and decoration to give brightness and cheerfulness to the general effect" of the stations.2 An actual architectural plan was mandated by the 1894 Rapid Transit Commission and the engineers produced a small neo-classical station house to be erected near City Hall. Another intention was expressed in the original contract of 1899, which specified white or light-colored tiles, or enameled brick for the station walls, except where color was to be introduced for architectural effect."3 These brief comments indicate that the Board had some form of architectural treatment, however vague, in mind from the very beginning.

Chief Engineer William Barclay Parsons was also concerned with various aesthetic possibilities, some of which he discussed in his 1894 report on European transit systems.4 The London Metropolitan Railway was among the systems studied, and Parsons noted that: "No attempt was made to give the stations a pleasing appearance; in fact, any attempt would have been rendered ineffectual by the engine smoke and the hideous advertising signs with which the station walls in England are covered."5 He was, however, impressed by the generous size of the station platforms and stairways. In Berlin, Parsons inspected the Stadtbahn, opened in 1882, and commented on two stations of this elevated railway. The stations were enclosed by an iron and glass shed, reminiscent, though on a smaller scale, of the great train sheds built throughout the western world during the Victorian period. The relation between form and function in these stations was obscured, however, by their embellishment with elaborate neo-baroque ornamentation. Of the stations of the Chemin De Fer De Sceaux in Paris, Parsons had this to say:

All of these stations have been designed with great skill with a view to make them pleasing and attractive in appearance, and to afford the maximum of convenience to the passengers. The architectural treatment consists in the avoiding of flat barren walls, by furnishing them, where not roofed, with a fine cornice and ornamental railing, and where in tunnel, by dividing them into panels by means of pilasters with a cornice and molded base. These panels are covered with porcelain tiles, and the small arches in the station roofs are made with bricks of the same material. Porcelain was used instead of enameled brick, as it was feared the polished surface of the latter might be thrown off by frost. To facilitate the movement of passengers there are two separate stairways to each platform, one for incoming and the other for outgoing passengers.6

Here it is obvious that Parsons was impressed by logical design, an efficient traffic flow, and a conservative decorative scheme that avoided both the Baroque extravagance of the Stadtbahn and the blandness of the Metropolitan.

When Chief Engineer Parsons made his trip abroad in 1894, be saw only a small sample of underground transit systems compared to what he would have seen had he traveled five years later. For in the late 1890s and early 1900s, many existing European transit systems were extended and several new ones begun. The role of the artist and architect became increasingly important in these new systems, and their potential influence on the New York subway was great.

European designers of the 1890s were experimenting with "a short but very significant fashion in decoration"7 known as Art Nouveau. Introduced in the 1880s by designers and book illustrators, the flowing foliate designs of Art Nouveau were first applied to architecture, independently it seems, by the American Louis Sullivan and the Belgian Victor Horta. But while Sullivan's Nouveau ornament remained basically a personal eccentricity, the Nouveau of Horta quickly became high fashion on the Continent.

Art Nouveau and its complementary movement in Germany and Austria, Jugendstil, were the basis for the architectural treatment of two important subway systems of this period; the Paris Metropolitan built between 1898 and 1901, and the Vienna Stadtbahn, 1895-1901. Primarily a decorative style, Art Nouveau was particularly well suited to the sort of applied embellishment required for a subway project.

The stations for the Paris Metro were designed by the renowned Art Nouveau architect Hector Guimard. They were executed in a special kind of wrought iron with highly plastic qualities, as was most Art Nouveau design, and consisted of both enclosed above-ground station houses and simpler arched constructions over the entrance stairs.8 In Vienna, Otto Wagner, another well-known architect, was chosen as designer for the Stadtbahn. His stations were somewhat more subdued than Guimard's, but display the same flowing floral patterns that characterize Art Nouveau.

Pevsner points out that Art Nouveau, like the contemporary Arts and Crafts movement in England, is "Transitional between Historicism and the Modern Movement."9 While not a truly modern style, Art Nouveau can at least be termed progressive, because "the frenzy of its insistence on unprecedented form places it beyond that (19th) century of historicism."10 Why, then, with a progressive precedent already set by European underground transit, was the New York subway carried out along traditional lines? The answer to this question lays with both the personalities involved and with an aesthetic movement which was peculiarly American--the City Beautiful.

American architecture during the last two decades of the 19th century is particularly hard to characterize, for a number of trends were occurring simultaneously. Louis Sullivan and others were at work in Chicago producing buildings relatively free from historical precedent. At the same time, and particularly in the East, an academic revival was being inaugurated by such buildings as the Villard Houses (New York, 1883) and the Boston Public Library (1888-1895), both by McKim, Mead and White.11 But it is the White City of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago which epitomizes the academic reaction, and marks the beginning of the movement known as City Beautiful. The aesthetic and intellectual motives of the City Beautiful, along with the general attitude of political and social reform during the period, were the most powerful influences upon the architectural treatment of the New York subway.

An excellent indication of these attitudes toward civic betterment is embodied in the periodical Municipal Affairs, published by the Reform Club of New York from 1897-1902. This journal included numerous articles on "Municipal Art" which stressed the aim that art be "indigenous" and "not relegate(d)... to the exclusiveness of aristocratic appreciation,"12 and that "art must appeal to the great masses of the public to regain its educational influence" and produce the "better impulses of the people."13

The December, 1899 issue of Municipal Affairs was devoted entirely to "Civic Art," in conjunction with a conference on the same subject held in Baltimore on December 14-15 of that year. Civic art was seen as contributing to increased real estate values and tourism. A plea was made for the introduction of stained glass and the increased use of color on public buildings -- two suggestions that would be followed in the design of the IRT.

Paris was held as the embodiment of the City Beautiful and several organizations attempted to force New York into the Haussmann mold. Patrician "civic art" associations such as the National Academy of Design, the Municipal Art Society, the Architectural League, the Art Student's League, the National Sculpture Society, and the Fine Arts Society produced noteworthy if somewhat fantastic plans for beautifying New York City. Among these were plans for introducing radial avenues into New York's gridiron street plan, and for erecting a Renaissance dome atop the Sixth Avenue elevated train station at Herald Square.14

American architecture of this period was under the influence of the great French architectural school, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Many American architects traveled to Paris for study at the Ecole, and this training often placed them at the forefront of the profession upon their return. Included in this group were Richard Morris Hunt, H. H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Charles Follen McKim.

The Beaux-Arts system of design emphasized logical thinking to solve a "problem" in architecture. A thorough study was required to evolve a satisfactory plan, and the elevations of a building would naturally grow out of that plan. No specific historical style was mandated by the Ecole, but in accordance with the architectural theory of Viollet-le-Duc,15 the abstract principles behind a given style were to be applied to a modern problem. Architects who returned to America from the Ecole, however, brought not only a knowledge of Beaux-Arts principles, but a taste for French Renaissance architecture as well.16

The influence of the City Beautiful movement was brought to bear on subway construction on January 31, 1901, the date when the Rapid Transit Commission appointed three of its members -- Commissioners Rives, Smith, and Langdon -- to a search committee whose job it was to choose both a consulting architect and an electrical engineer.17

Several different architectural firms were considered during the early months of 1901, the first of which was the prominent New York partnership of Carrere and Hastings.18 Both John N. Carrere and Thomas Hastings had studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and had met while employed as draftsmen in the office of McKim, Mead and White. As might be expected, their Beaux-Arts training inspired them with a preference for the architecture of the French Renaissance. This can be easily seen in two of their most famous works: the New York Public Library, 1897-1911; and the arch and colonnade of the Manhattan Bridge, 1905.

Also considered was Robert W. Gibson, another fairly prominent architect who received his architectural training in Britain. Gibson's architectural vocabulary was more eclectic than the Beaux-Arts practitioners, exemplified by his most well-known work in New York-- the Flemish-inspired West End Collegiate Church of 1893 at West End Avenue and 77th Street.

But Commissioner Langdon was opposed to Gibson, and Carrere and Hastings apparently required too large a fee.19 On March 7, 1901, on the recommendation of the search committee, the Board appointed Messrs. Heins and LaFarge as consulting architects at a fee of $2,500 per annum, plus disbursements.20 Heins and LaFarge had designed a chapel for August Belmont, II, in 1899 as part of their larger commission for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Belmont, President of the IRT company, probably brought them to the attention of the committee.21

George L. Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge are remembered today as ecclesiastical architects, most notably for the design of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which they won through competition with sixty other firms in 1891.22 While their most famous works were churches, they also executed designs for numerous private hones and secular buildings during their partnership from 1886 until the death of Mr. Heins in 1907.

Both were educated at the architectural school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first school of architecture in the United States, which began in 1868.23 The curriculum at MIT was, like the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, based mainly on logical planning and design. The design instructor, Eugene Latang, under whom Heins and LaFarge most likely studied, had been imported directly from the French school. Upon graduating from MIT, LaFarge took an internship in the office of H. H. Richardson, another product of the Ecole and one of the most influential architects of the 19th century. The internship had probably been arranged by LaFarge's father, John, who had done the interior decoration of Richardson's Trinity Church in Boston.

Hence, Heins and LaFarge received an education based on Beaux-Arts theory, but with one important difference. They were not continually exposed to French Renaissance architecture as a student in Paris would have been, and free from this influence, their approach to design more properly followed Beaux-Arts principles than most students directly in contact with the Ecole. As LaFarge said:

Every new building is a new problem and every successful work of art a problem solved; the solution will be found through the comprehension of underlying principles and their application to the end in the spirit of our own time, and just insofar as this is the case will the work have merit, and beauty, and originality be, in short, a work of art.24

On the matter of style, LaFarge believed it "trite to say that tradition must be followed." He abhorred "the servile, thoughtless imitation, the making of dull, lifeless, archaeological copies of the works of long dead hands," for "the rules of grammar and the basic principles of art are no hindrance to freedom of thought or expression."25

The actual buildings by Heins and LaFarge accord well with the above statements. A full range of historical styles was employed, but all were adopted to their particular situation to avoid any hint of academic pedantry. One of their earliest designs is the Reformed Episcopal Church of the Reconciliation, constructed in 1890 on the southeast corner of Nostrand and Jefferson in Brooklyn. It is a small church designed in an extremely simplified Romanesque style. The Reformed Episcopal Church of the Reconciliation may have been only a study for the building which made Heins and LaFarge prominent -- the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. St. John the Divine was a mammoth edifice originally designed in a style derived from "the time of transition from the simpler Romanesque to the more complex organism."26 Complex was a more appropriate adjective for the Cathedral; notwithstanding its sheer size, the exterior detail (round-arched) was extraordinary. The original plan featured an immense tower over the crossing that would have been visible for miles.

In the design for St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Cathedral (1893-1899, 1909-1910) in Washington, D. C., Heins and LaFarge looked for inspiration to the Renaissance churches of northern Italy. The simple, straightforward design juxtaposes walls of red brick against a great green copper dome; the church being an example of "excellent detail, workmanlike construction, and colorful decoration."27 One more ecclesiastical building of note is the Grace Church Clergy House (1902) at 92 Fourth Avenue in Manhattan. Part of a complex of three houses, the Clergy House was designed in a Gothic Revival style to harmonize with its two neighbors and with James Renwick's nearby Grace Church (1846). Numerous private residences were also designed by Heins and LaFarge. Examples include three Georgian Revival town houses (1892) at 488-492 Fourth Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and the handsome neo-classical town house at 9 East 68th Street in Manhattan, constructed for George T. Bliss in 1906.28

Even a cursory study of the buildings designed by Heins and LaFarge reveals them to have been versatile, creative architects. Nowhere is this more evident than in the buildings they designed for the New York Zoological Park, Bronx, New York, between 1899 and 1911. These buildings, like the station houses for the IRT that will be detailed shortly, had few prototypes elsewhere in the world that could serve as examples. Heins and LaFarge's solution was a small formal court, probably influenced by Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Around this court stood symmetrically placed buildings of buff-colored Roman brick, ornamented by neo-classical details executed in terra-cotta. But a closer look reveals lions in the cornice; lizards in the frieze, and elephants in the cartouche; an architecture of fantasy, perfectly suited to a pleasure ground.

The stations of the New York subway required an approach quite different from any of Heins and LaFarge's previous commissions, for here they were not working with space but merely with decoration. The station plans were determined by the engineers of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners, under Parsons' direction, and the architects were called in to "garnish" the spaces over which they exerted little direct control. This division of labor between the architect and the engineer, and between building construction and building art, is a major theme of architectural history before the modern movement.29 The IRT illustrates this theme throughout its construction, albeit exaggerated by the fact that it was primarily an engineering work. But compare it with a modern subway system -- for example the Washington Metro. Here little distinction exists between building construction and art; the cofferred vaults and the dramatic spaces serve both purposes. So, in addition to lending insight into the working relationship of architect and engineer, the subway provides an illustration of an essentially 19th-century approach to construction and decoration.

There were 49 stations on the Contract One subway, thirty-seven underground and twelve above. The underground stations, except for City Hall (which is unique and will be treated separately), were of two basic types: local, with platforms located on the outside of the tracks; and express, with island platforms between the local and express tracks. They were located at intervals of approximately one-half mile between locals, and one and one-half miles between express stations. (The accompanying inventory provides detailed information on individual stations.)

A guiding principle for station design was to keep the platforms as close to the street surface as possible to avoid the use of mechanical means of access. This was accomplished at all stations except 168th, 181st, and Mott Avenue, where the subway was in deep tunnel and convenient access necessitated an elevator. The interior of these stations is large arches similar in construction to the tunnel itself.

No two station plans were exactly alike, but the standard local station was a "T" shape, with "arms elongated parallel to the track," and "stem under the street transverse to the main route."30 Beneath the cross street was located the control area, about thirty by forty-five feet in area, with ticket booth and lavatories. The platforms were four feet above the base of the rails, two hundred feet long, and between ten and twenty feet wide.31 On each platform were four stairways, two for entrance and two for exit, divided by metal gates operated by an attendant who controlled passenger flow. This separation of entrance and exit was similar to the Chemin De Fer De Sceaux in Paris that had so impressed Parsons.32 At some of the stations, 23rd Street being the best example, arrangements were made with owners of adjacent properties for access directly from the station into their buildings.

Express stations were designed to accommodate both local and express trains. There were five of this type: Brooklyn Bridge, 14th Street, Grand Central, 72nd Street, and 96th Street. Platforms at these stations were arranged between the local and express tracks to allow for transfer between trains. At Brooklyn Bridge, 14th Street, and 96th Street, side platforms were provided in addition to the island platforms. The express stations were three hundred fifty feet long and varied in width from fifteen feet six inches at 72nd Street to thirty feet at 14th Street. Access to Brooklyn Bridge, 14th Street, and Grand Central was gained via an overhead mezzanine which required that the rail level be lower than at the local stations; about twenty-five feet in these three stations as opposed to seventeen feet for the locals. At 72nd Street (as at 103rd; 116th Streets, and Mott Avenue), the control area was located in an ornamental house, with the access directly from this house to the island platforms located only fourteen feet below the street. And at 96th Street a large trunk sewer necessitated that an underground passage be built below the tracks instead of a mezzanine.

The construction method employed for the stations is basically the same as that of the subway proper; that is, steel beams five feet between centers with jack-arch concrete roofs and either straight or jack-arch concrete walls. An additional inner wall of four-inch brick was built in the station areas, and separated from the outer structural wall by a one-inch air space to control water leakage and condensation. Ventilation openings were left in the wainscot of the lower wall area and in the cornice near the ceiling. Columns were placed at fifteen-foot intervals to carry the roof over the station platform, these columns being of round cast iron for "a better architectural effect."33 Station floors were made of three-inch thick concrete divided into three-foot squares and graded to drain at one or more points. All stairways were of reinforced concrete. Two toilet rooms were provided on each platform. These were divided in half, one being free and equipped with only a water closet, the other requiring payment and provided with mirror, soap dish, and towel. These toilet rooms were supplied with an electric fan and heater,

One important aspect of station construction, contemplated "to be a very pleasing feature to the traveling public,"34 was the use of overhead vault lights to supply natural light to the stations. These were installed wherever the platforms came beneath a public sidewalk or other right-of-way, and were utilized at twenty stations. Tests were carried out on several types of vault lights, and the chosen design consisted of circular glass lights two and three-quarter inches in diameter set four inches between centers into reinforced concrete two inches thick. The steel reinforcing rods were extended beyond the concrete and attach ed to the flanges of the steel beams that supported them. Artificial lighting was supplied by incandescent bulbs set into ceiling recesses and held by brass fixtures.

All of the station work described thus far was designed by the engineers of the Rapid Transit Board under Parsons direction.35 The raw brick walls and concrete ceilings were then turned over to Heins and LaFarge to be "beautified." The decorative scheme that they devised was certainly influenced by Parsons, for it is again similar to the Paris Chemin De Per De Sceaux in its system of wall division and ornamentation. Heins and LaFarge's plans were subject to the final approval of Parsons, who delegated authority to D. L. Turner, assistant engineer in charge of stations for the Rapid Transit Subway Construction Company. August Belmont also oversaw station decoration; he approved of the first completed station at Columbus Circle, but complained of the use of too much brick at Astor Place, 50th Street, and 66th Street.36

In general, the station finish consisted of a sanitary cove base that made the transition from floor to wall, upon which rested a brick or marble wainscot for the first two and one-half feet or so of wall area. This wainscot was applied to withstand the hard usage that the lower wall would be subjected to. The wainscot was completed by either a brick or marble cap, and the remainder of the wall area was covered with three by six-inch white glass tiles, completed near the ceiling by a cornice or frieze. The wall area was divided into fifteen foot panels, the same spacing as the platform columns, by the use of colored tiles or mosaic "in order to relieve the monotony that a plain-tiled surface would present."37 The full station name appeared on large tablets of either mosaic tile, faience, or terra-cotta at frequent intervals, while smaller name plaques were incorporated into the cornice every fifteen feet. Sharp corners were eliminated and junctions between walls were curved to prevent chipping and facilitate cleaning. Ceilings were finished in one-inch thick white plaster applied to wire lath hung on channel irons at intervals of twelve inches. The channel irons were secured to beams and girders with metal clips, with a minimum one-inch air space left between the finished ceiling and the structural roof. The lath and plaster either followed the contours of the jack arches, with ornamental moldings in low relief accentuating the beams, or were suspended flat with ornamental moldings dividing them into panels.

Beyond this general treatment the stations exhibit considerable variation in color and detail. A conscious effort was made by the architects to create a distinct wall treatment for each station, both to relieve monotony and assist in the identification of different locations, and the "extent of the decoration varies with the relative importance of the stations."38 Wherever possible, a local association was worked into the decorative scheme, such as the seal of Columbia University at 116th and Broadway.39 Heins and LaFarge used a number of different details to add interest to the stations. All of them were classically derived but designed with considerable artistic license. Examples of these details include the cornices at all stations, garlands such as at 116th and Broadway, cartouches such as at Spring Street and along the Lenox Avenue line, and flat pilasters and Greek Frets such as at 79th and 86th Streets. Ticket booths were of five different designs according to the amount of space available in the control area.


Image 7885
(75k, 1024x806)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University

Image 7886
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University

Image 7887
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University



Color was the most important artistic device used in the subway stations. As mentioned earlier in connection with Civic Art, color was thought to appeal to the average person more than subtle differences in scale or detail. As Herbert Croly observed in the Architectural Record:

The ordinary man has no experience or standards which enable him to appreciate a building whose merit consists in effective proportions in well distributed masses and well-scaled details. Architecture whose chief merits consist in such qualities must always be inaccessible and uninteresting to the majority of people. General use of livelier colors will result in attracting popular attention to good design and in a more effective popular education in architecture. This color theory has been put to practice in the stations of the New York subway. The result is successful....40

The quality of materials specified by Heins and LaFarge for use in the stations was extremely high. The wainscot was constructed of either buff-colored Roman brick41 or marble. The vent grills and light fixtures were of bronze, and the ticket booths of oak. Encaustic mosaic tile was used for the color bands and name tablets. Architectural details were executed in either glazed terra-cotta or in faience for the more important stations. Faience is terra-cotta with a more refined glaze requiring two firings which produce an opaque mat glaze.42 The materials were of such high quality, in fact, that their use had to be curtailed because of expense. Parsons noted in his construction diary, February 27, 1902, that he discussed reducing the expense of stations with LaFarge. By January, 1903 Parsons advised a simpler treatment for stations, and by the next month he ordered that the use of marble should be discontinued except for those stations already contracted for.43

Four of the stations, 72nd Street, 103rd Street, 116th Street, and Mott Avenue, were reached through ornamental control houses.44 The idea for these control houses may have come from the Boston subway, where a small ornamental house served as the entrance to the Scollay Square station. Parsons and LaFarge had visited Boston in May, 1901 to examine the various architectural features of that subway.45 The control houses of the New York subway were fanciful constructions which did not adhere to any strict historical style. They were similar in appearance and materials to the buildings by Heins and LaFarge at the New York Zoological Gardens and were ornamented with classically derived details. All were framed with steel "I" beams. The engineers of the Rapid Transit Commission were responsible for the design of the steelwork, but Heins and LaFarge executed the basic design and details.46

The control house at 72nd Street, completed in 1904, is still extant and in use. The architects took advantage of a triangular parkway and placed the building at the same angle as Broadway to create a focal point in Sherman Square. The building is fifty by thirty-seven feet in size, and rests on a granite block foundation. It is one story tall and faced with buff-colored Roman brick. Limestone quoins at the corners support a low gable roof of terra-cotta blocks covered with copper sheets with raised joints. A limestone string course ties the building together horizontally and is broken by projecting sills of single-sash, center-pivot windows placed just below the eaves. Projecting bays on the north and south sides define the entrance and exit. These bays are topped by shaped gables with terra-cotta coping and four round terra-cotta finials. The numerals 72, placed in a terra-cotta cross, are centrally located near the top of this gable, and a glass and louver monitor connects the two gables along the roof ridge. The entrance and exit are formed by four side-hinged doors (a fifth has been added to the entrance side), topped by a small pediment and a window decorated with wrought iron scrollwork. The entire entrance is framed by a modified Gibbs surround executed in limestone. The interior contains the ticket booth, lavatories and five stairways, and is finished in white glass tile.


Image 7874
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 72nd Street

Image 7875
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 72nd Street



The control houses at 103rd and 116th Streets, also completed in 1904, were nearly identical and situated in the median strip of Broadway. They were fifty by twenty feet in size, gable roofed with monitor, and constructed of the same materials as the control house at 72nd Street. Limestone pilasters topped by anti-fixae divided the side elevations into four equal size bays, each pierced by three center-pivot windows. A limestone string course surrounded the buildings at the level of the sills. The gable ends were ornamented by limestone triglyphs below the eaves. Above the eaves, terra-cotta volutes supported a shaped gable with terra-cotta coping and a round finial at the top. A central bull's eye bore the station name, and this was decorated by a banded wreath above the keystone of the door surround. One entrance on the main elevation led to the ticket booth and a wide stairway which descended to the mezzanine above the tracks.

The Mott Avenue control house, completed in 1905, is still extant, though altered and no longer used as a station entrance. It is situated near the southwest corner of 149th Street and Grand Concourse in the Bronx and is finished on the street facade with Roman brick and limestone trim. Entrance was gained through a porch which extended beyond the building line and has been removed. The porch featured three large windows divided by pilasters on the front and double entrance doors located on the sides. The building is finished at the top with a glazed terra-cotta cornice and a large name tablet of faience in three colors.


Image 7910
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 149th Street/Grand Concourse (Mott Avenue)

Image 7913
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 149th Street/Grand Concourse (Mott Avenue)



The entrance and exits of many other stations were covered by kiosks. These highly ornate constructions in cast iron and glass ware inspired by similar structures of the Budapest underground railway, which Parsons presumably saw during his European visit.47 The final design was executed by Heins and LaFarge, but it is so similar to the Budapest model that it cannot be considered their own idea. One hundred thirty-three kiosks were manufactured by the Hecla Iron Works, Brooklyn, in four standard lengths of 17'2", 19', 21'8", and 25', and widths varying from 4'3" and larger.48 The roof designs differed so as to designate them as exits or entrances. The entrance kiosk featured a domed roof with leaf-like shingles of cast iron, while the exit was topped by a four-sided peaked skylight of one-quarter inch wire glass.

Aside from their strictly ornamental role, the kiosks performed certain utilitarian duties as well. The station toilet rooms were located directly below them and vent flues carried air up through one of the kiosk columns for discharge through perforations in the cornice soffit. A small vent near the bottom of each kiosk directed fresh air back down to the toilets, and another column was utilized as a sewer vent.

Although the kiosks became almost trademarks of the IRT company-- they adorn the cover of the 1904 publication, Interborough Rapid Transit (a.k.a. The New York Subway)-- they were not highly successful additions to the streetscape of New York city. The targets of vandals and advertisers besides being impediments to traffic, the kiosks were gradually removed and not one [of the originals] exists today.

The stations along the elevated portions of the IRT were also designed by Heins and LaFarge. They were quite similar in plan to the stations along the existing elevated railway lines in Manhattan: two stairways on each side leading to a control house over the cross street, with semi-covered platforms extending along the tracks. The massing of the IRT elevated stations was less picturesque in character than the older elevated stations. Nevertheless, they retained an appearance that was essentially Victorian, and it can be assumed that Heins and LaFarge had used the existing elevateds as prototypes.


Image 7901
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 207th Street

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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: Jackson Avenue



The elevated station houses were entirely steel framed, with wood siding covered with copper sheets. They featured a low hipped roof pierced by ventilating dormers on two sides and adorned by iron cresting along the ridge. The exterior surfaces were divided into panels, with a wall dormer projecting from the street side. This dormer was ornamented with circular panels, topped by a small cornice and a semi-circular starburst flanked by five finials. The covered stairways descended in three stages, and they were enhanced by ornamental iron work. Platforms were roofed for a short distance on either side of the control house, and then extended alongside the tracks with an iron guard rail divided by lampposts at short intervals. The interiors were unfinished, with steel beams exposed, and contained the ticket booth, waiting room, and lavatories.


Image 7889
(86k, 1024x813)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street

Image 7890
(109k, 814x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street

Image 7892
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street



Two elevated stations, 125th and Broadway and Dyckman Street, differed from this standard plan.49 The height of the Manhattan Valley Viaduct necessitated a smaller structure placed lower than the level of the tracks, and this structure was purely utilitarian in appearance. At Dyckman Street the station was situated atop a masonry viaduct, and the control area was located below the tracks within this viaduct. The viaduct was constructed of dressed granite with shallow rustication. Large arched windows with decorative keystones supplied light for the control room which was finished with smooth plaster walls and a brick wainscot.

One more station of the New York subway is yet to be described, City Hall.50 It was the southern terminus of the Contract One railroad, and was treated in an elaborate manner to serve as the showplace of the system. The City Hall station and the main powerhouse both exemplified the important role of architectural designs in the subway, but their treatment reflects two entirely opposite approaches to architectural design.

The original plan for the southern end of the Contract One subway arranged the four tracks on a loop below City Hall Park; and extending beneath the United States Post Office that was then situated on the southern tip of the park. With the anticipation of the Brooklyn Extension (Contract Two), the plan was changed in 1898 to a smaller single track loop for local trains only, with the express tracks built overhead to avoid a grade crossing.51 Because the loop was single track and curved, the station designed for it was unique from all the others. City Hall station, as designed by Heins and LaFarge, featured two short stairways leading from the street to a vaulted control room. A wide stairway then descended to the platform. The floors and wainscot were finished similar to the other underground stations, but the curve of the platform was accentuated by a series of timbrel vaults supplied by the R. Guastavino Company, New York. Guastavino vaults were constructed of thin terra-cotta tiles bonded with a string mortar and added in successive layers to form a thin structural vault of great strength.52. Heins and LaFarge were experienced with the principles of Guastavino vaults, for they had utilized them for the main crossing of the cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The Guastavino vaults in City Hall station were of white mat finish tiles, emphasized near the edges with green and brown glazed tiles. Three of the vaults had leaded glass skylights which opened upwards to vault lights in City Hall Park, as did the central skylight in the control room. Additional lighting was supplied by twelve chandeliers hung from the center of the vaults, plus incandescent bulbs around the platform entrance and in the control room. Three glazed terra-cotta name plates were located along the platform walls.

City Hall station, with its elegant use of vaulting and leaded glass, reflected the fact that Heins and LaFarge were masterful church designers. It was also the only subway station in which decorative design was related to structural form. Whereas the other stations and structures relied on applied historicizing decoration, the beauty of City Hall station was the result of structural elements directly tied to its peculiar plan.

Even though the City Hall station was symbolic of the care given to artistic treatment of the subway, it had its drawbacks as an icon. It was small, underground, and viewed only by those who happened to pass through it. And because the subway was only an intra-urban rapid transit railroad, there was no need for a large and conspicuous terminal. Lacking a Grand Central or St. Pancras, the IRT company lavished its attention on the main power house to make it the symbol of the company befitting the goals of the City Beautiful movement. Originally conceived as a structure of "massive and simple design," it was finally decided to adopt an ornate style of treatment by which the structure would be "rendered architecturally attractive and in harmony with the recent tendencies of municipal and city improvements..."53

The power house occupied an entire block bounded by 58th and 59th Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues.54 The structure was designed by the engineers of the IRT company under the direction of Paul C. Hunter, Architectural Assistant.55 It was constructed of steel and reinforced concrete, divided by a brick partition wall down the center into an operating room on the north side and a boiler room on the south side. The facade was essentially free standing, so the power house was really two buildings wrapped in a facade to appear as one.

The facade was designed by Stanford White of the firm of McKim, Mead and White, the most prominent architects in New York City at the turn of the century. White purportedly "volunteered his services to the company,"56 but office records indicate that he was paid a stipend of $3,500 for the design.57 Whether this was a gift or an actual fee is unknown, but it attests to the importance that the power house held to the Interborough Company.

Many power houses that existed previous to the one detailed here, including the Manhattan Railway Company's 74th Street plant, utilized a series of repeating arches down the length of their facades in a manner that could be described as simplified Romanesque. This treatment created a pleasant rhythm and could be extended indefinitely if the structure was of great size. The study drawings for the IRT power house indicate experiments with this sort of treatment. The elevations featured unadorned arches topped by window openings becoming smaller in size but greater in number toward the top of the composition, in much the same manner as H. H. Richardson's Marshall Field Warehouse (Chicago, 1885-1887, demolished). But the length of the power house rendered this solution extremely "busy" and rhythm gave way to tedium. A more effective means of dividing the facade into bays was needed, and as the design progressed the solution was found in details adopted from Renaissance facades.

The final solution as conceived by White was a stunning Beaux-Arts Renaissance facade. Is compositional scheme owed much to the Boston Public Library, although the power house details were overblown, less in keeping with the proper proportions of the classical language of architecture. The building stood on a low basement of smooth granite pierced by triple windows on the south facade only. Above this basement the north and south facades were identical. Pairs of rusticated brick pilasters divided the facade into equal bays articulated by tall arched window openings. with decorative terra-cotta molding and keystones. Within the window openings cast iron sash glazed with ribbed glass in a star pattern screened out a view of the interior. The window arcade was capped with a small terra-cotta cornice, and above this a narrow band of pilasters and triple window openings corresponded to the arcade below. The main cornice (later removed) and a low parapet completed the composition. The main facade along 11th Avenue was similar, but featured single pilasters creating narrower bays. Sculptured terra-cotta import blocks ornamented the pilasters, and marble medallions were placed above the window keystones. The west facade was left unfinished in anticipation of a future addition.

The corners of the power-house were slightly set off from the main wall plane with the primary entrance on the northeast corner, the design's only concession to asymmetry. Large openings were cut into the north and south facades near the east corners to allow a railway spur of the New York Central to pass through the building. Six huge chimneys rose from the south side of the roof, which was finished in terra-cotta tile and fitted with a glass clerestory.58

The main power house was the most high-style piece of design for the subway system. It was a significant example of the academic classicism of which McKim, Mead and White were the acknowledged masters. But by its correctness and symmetry it masked completely the functions which took place within it; only the chimneys gave hint of its industrial purpose.

In addition to the main power plant, eight power sub-stations were located along the route of the subway system.59 They were designed by Paul C. Hunter of the IRT company, with the assistance of the company's engineers. Six of the sub-stations were nearly identical: numbers 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18. They were all approximately fifty by one hundred feet in size with some variation due to lot size and land availability, and were finished on the street facade only.60

The sub-stations were constructed on thick brick foundations with brick walls and reinforced concrete floors and ceilings. All were steel framed throughout. Their basic plan was three bays wide by six bays long,61 with a basement and one main operating room with a gallery in the rear. The front portion of the buildings was taller than the rear and contained battery rooms or office space. These additional floors were reached by an ornamental iron staircase or a steel-cage-elevator.62 A V-shaped air well with lowered skylights ran longitudinally down the center of each sub-station to provide light and ventilation for the operating room. Roofs were flat with brick parapet walls, which rose in stepped sections to the level of the facade.

The facades, also designed by Hunter, were intended to blend in with the streetscape and mask the interior functions. Most of the sub-stations were located on residential streets. The facades were tripartite compositions utilizing Beaux-Arts Renaissance details. The first story (which bears no relation to any interior division) was a rusticated limestone base broken by two double doors with a window between. In the middle section terra-cotta blocks stood out from a brick background to frame a double window grouping topped by a large cartouche surrounded by foliate ornament. A prominent string course made the transition to the upper story, which consisted of a row of five evenly spaced windows topped by an immense cornice held by overscaled brackets.

Sub-station number 11 on City Hall Place (now demolished) was identical to those already described except for facade details. The base of sub-station 11 featured a central entrance surrounded by a segmental arched pediment supported by brackets. A banded wreath with festoons ornamented the middle section, and the composition terminated with a sloped mansard at the top.

Sub-station number 17 on Hillside Avenue departed from this general pattern. It was built on undeveloped land and hence was freestanding and finished on four sides. Its interior arrangement was similar to the other sub-stations, but the central light well was omitted and a full second floor was built. This floor housed a foundry and machine shop and is presently used for storage. The exterior was brick with limestone and terra-cotta trim. Windows on the side elevations were evenly spaced -- square for the first row, segmentally arched for the second, and round arched on the third. Terra-cotta string courses ran horizontally around the building. Two hipped roof towers surmounted the front corners. These were ornamented by terra-cotta festoons. The main roof was hipped and constructed of terra-cotta blocks covered by tin sheets with raised joints. A copper gutter system supported by large wrought iron brackets ran around the entire building.

Several other architectural embellishments need yet to be mentioned. The masonry work on the north and south ends of the Manhattan Valley Viaduct, and the north entrance to the Ft. George Portal was designed by Heins and LaFarge. The Manhattan Valley Viaduct approaches were constructed of rough-faced granite piers with brick infill. A dressed-stone molding ran along the tops of the piers, supporting a stone guard rail holding name plates ornamented with gattae. These name plates were never filled in. The north end of the Ft. George Portal at Dyckman Street was embellished with an arch of rough-faced stone voussoirs. A stone name tablet similar to those just described on the Manhattan Valley Viaduct commemorated the site of the Revolutionary War fortification, Ft. George.

The original rolling stock for the IRT subway was patterned primarily after that of the Manhattan Railway Company's elevated cars.63 But the special nature of the subway placed strict limitations and requirements on car design, notably: restricted heights and clearance for curves, the necessity for non-combustible materials, and most importantly, operation at higher speeds than any existing railway service.64 These high speeds combined with frequent stops demanded a car of great strength but extremely light weight.

The first contract for rolling stock was let in late 1902 for five hundred cars of composite construction; that is, wood and steel frames with wooden bodies sheathed with copper.65 Although the management of the Interborough Company considered an all-steel car from the beginning, no car of this type had been constructed and no manufacturer could be found who would accept such a contract. So all energies were put into the production of the composite cars while details of the steel cars were given further study.

The composite cars were built according to designs of George Gibbs, consulting engineer to the Interborough Company, and W. T. Thompson, master mechanic of the Company.66 They were wood-framed, reinforced with anti-telescoping steel bars to prevent excessive damage in the event of collision. The cars were fifty-one feet long, about four feet greater than existing Manhattan Elevated Railway cars, and provided seating for fifty-two passengers on rattan-covered seats arranged longitudinally near the car ends and face-to-face at the center. They differed in exterior appearance from the elevated cars for several reasons. First, the side walls sloped inward above the window sill to accommodate limited clearance in the tunnels. Second, the roof was lower for the same reason; and third, the cars featured enclosed vestibule platforms with sliding doors instead of the usual gates. These sliding entrance doors were located at the ends of the cars, and were operated by attendants.67) Parsons, in his European visit in 1894, had found this end door arrangement preferable to side doors in distributing passengers.68

The interiors of the composite cars followed American practice and contained only one compartment, instead of first and second-class areas as on many European systems.69 One innovation in design was the arrangement of the platform wherein the vestibule could be either closed to make the car a distinct compartment or open to allow for passage between cars. Windows were double wooden sash with the upper sash movable. Floors were of hard maple with asbestos fireproofing beneath. Interior woodwork was light-colored mahogany, as was the overhead handrail. Lighting was supplied by incandescent bulbs and ventilation by a louvered clerestory.

While the composite car was in the process of manufacture, George Gibbs was at work trying to rectify the problems of fireproof steel car design. Among these problems was excessive weight, heat transmission, and noise. In December, 1903 a sample car was produced at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company plant in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The assistance of the mechanical department of the Pennsylvania Railroad was offered because that company anticipated the need for fireproof steel cars in their tunnels.70 Although this sample car was still too heavy, Gibbs soon developed a second design for a car about the same weight as the composite.71

The steel car designed and patented by Gibbs, and first introduced on the IRT subway, represented "the highest type of the car building art" in 1904.72 Its most novel feature was the principle whereby the floor load was carried by the side framing of the car, eliminating the need for heavy under-trussing. The general appearance of the steel cars was similar to the composite, except that all surfaces were metal: rolled sheet steel on the exterior and sheet aluminum on the interior, with metal door and window framing and metal trim. The first contract for two hundred steel cars was given to the American Car and Foundry Company, Berwick, Pennsylvania, followed shortly by an order for an additional one hundred cars.

Two unforeseen problems developed shortly after the subway opened to the public in October, 1904: insufficient ventilation in the tunnels, and defacement of the station walls by advertisements. Both these situations were given immediate attention by the Rapid Transit Commission and the Interborough Company. The technical problem was solved; the legal problem was not.

Parsons had taken note of the methods of ventilation for underground transit in both European and American systems, and he commented extensively on them in his 1894 Report on Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities. The most common method for ventilation was simply to rely on the piston action of the moving trains to force air through the tunnel, bringing fresh air in through station entrances, open cuts, or specially provided blow-holes (openings). In Europe only the Glasgow Central Railway, the Liverpool Mersey Tunnel, and the Paris Chemin De Fer De Sceaux provided any mechanical means of ventilation: large fans or blowers which exhausted stale air.73 The Boston subway employed a similar system, with ventilating fans placed in chambers alongside the tracks which forced the air out through grated openings in the sidewalks.74

The original design for the New York subway relied entirely on natural ventilation and piston action of trains to purify the air. Because the tunnel was located directly below the street and electric traction utilized for power, no mechanical means of ventilation seemed necessary. Frequent stations with many stairways, plus blow-holes located in the center of Broadway on that portion of the line north of 60th Street, provided openings for the circulation of air.75 But complaints from the public concerning the purity of the subway air began shortly after the line opened, and the Rapid Transit Commission sought the assistance of Dr. Charles F. Chandler of Columbia University to test the quality of the air. Dr Chandler's tests concluded that the subway air was surprisingly good.76 Complaints continued, especially with regard to heat and odor, and in the summer of 1905, the Board commissioned George A. Soper to conduct a thorough investigation of the problem.77

Soper concluded that the air, though disagreeable at times, was not harmful.78 The high temperatures were due to the conversion of electric power into friction.79 Odors were caused primarily by the stone ballast of the roadbed, the lubricants used on car machinery, and the general "newness" of tile cement and plaster. The most potentially harmful component of the air was dust produced by the grinding of metals, but not enough of this dust was inhaled by the average passenger to be harmful.

Pursuant to Soper s report, extensive changes were made in 1906-1907 to the ventilation arrangement of the New York subway. "Nowhere has so much attention been given this subject [improving ventilation] since electric traction came into use as in New York."80 The simplest change was the removal of station vault lights for replacement by open gratings.81 Where the gratings occurred over the platforms, copper pans were placed below them to catch water. In the portion of the subway between Brooklyn Bridge and Columbus Circle, where no ventilation openings between stations had been provided in the original construction, fourteen ventilating chambers were constructed adjacent to the tracks between stations. These chambers were controlled by automatic blowers which exhausted air out of grated openings, thus drawing in fresh air through stairways and gratings at the stations.

The most complicated piece of construction involving ventilation was an experimental cooling plant built at the Brooklyn Bridge station. This plant, designed by John E. Starr, consultant to the Rapid Transit Commission, utilized cold water pumped from the ground by electric pumps to cool a bank of pipes situated on the local platforms on each end of the station. This device reduced the temperature within the station by several degrees but, because of cost, was not utilized at other stations.82

Advertisements appeared in the subway stations within hours after the first trains began operation, and they were immediately "criticized by the aesthetic public."83 The signs were placed in the stations by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, but it was the Rapid Transit Commission, as lessor of the road, that the public held responsible. The Chairman of the Municipal Art Commission, John DeWitt Warner, declared that the Board displayed "a streak of barbarism in having had the subway stations appropriately decorated and then permitting them to be littered out by the advertising junk..."84 He went on to hope the signs would be "smashed by gentlemen" who had a perfect right "to kick or crush them in abatement of a nuisance."85

The provision in the original contract stated that no advertisements were to be placed that would "interfere with the easy identification of stations or otherwise with efficient operation."86 Obviously the Rapid Transit Commission was fully aware that the advertising signs would appear. One editorial went so far as to say that the money gained from advertising was one of the inducements which caused the Interborough Company to take the contract.87

Nevertheless, the Board was responsive to public pressure and carried on negotiations with the Interborough Company in an attempt to arrive at some general guidelines for sign placement, These negotiations proved futile, and in February, 1905, the Manhattan Borough President notified the Interborough Company that all signs were to be removed.88 The Interborough Company then began legal action against the City and the Borough President; and obtained a temporary injunction against such action, which was continued as a formal injunction by the opinion of Mr. Justice Bischoff in a special term of the State Supreme Court.89

On January 8, 1906, the formal case was tried at an equity term of the State Supreme Court with the City of New York as plaintiff and the Interborough Company as defendant.90 This case was to restrain the Interborough Company from placing vending machines and weighing machines in the stations, the question of advertising having been answered by the previous decision. The City obviously thought it had a better chance in court on the machine issue, since the original contract contained no clause with reference to vending machines of any sort but this reason worked against them, and on December 24, 1906, Mr. Justice McCall handed down his decision in favor of the defendant.91 The decision was based on the right of the Interborough Company, as leaseholder, to operate the machines as long as they did not affect the skillful operation of the road, which they did not. The court also sanctioned the machines and advertisements of "universal custom," a custom which was, on the basis of the court's decision, forever granted to the New York subway.92

Despite these problems, public response to the architectural designs of the New York subway was generally favorable. The New York Sunday Sun featured the headline "The City Beautiful: Its Beginnings Underground," and described the stations as "a delight to the eye."93 The same article mentioned the power sub-stations as buildings that could be mistaken "almost for the home of a wealthy citizen whose fancy turned toward the heavy and impressive."94 Another author described the journeys to work on the subway as "pleasure excursions relieved here and there by commodious, well-lighted rooms, colored in a kaleidoscopic variety of tint."95 The Record and Guide thought the new subway stations an immense improvement over the old elevated stations, and congratulated the city for its contribution to "Civic Art."96 In fact, the only criticism, except for the advertising signs, was leveled against the control house at 72nd Street. Its fanciful design must have offended the sensibilities of West Siders, for on December 5, 1904, the West End Association adopted a resolution declaring the station house "not only an offense to the eye, but a very serious danger to life and limb," and requested that the Rapid Transit Commission remove it.97

The success of the artistic designs plus a four-year working relationship did not, however, succeed in reconciling the viewpoints of Parsons and LaFarge. Remarks that each made after the subway's completion indicate that while Parsons was a strict modernist, embracing every aspect of 20th-century technology, LaFarge remained an ardent traditionalist. Their viewpoints are illustrative of the almost antagonistic relationship between the professions of architecture and engineering in this period.

In an address before the Architectural League in 1911, Parsons, summing up the attitudes of the profession, could not repeat what most engineers thought of architects, "ladies being present."98 He went on to describe an incident where he was "sufficiently rash" to suggest to the architect of a great cathedral that steel beams be utilized to create a church larger than any in existence, an obvious reference to LaFarge and St. John the Divine.99 LaFarge replied that the use of steel would violate every "canon of the Gothic Art,"100 and later described the steel frame as "commercial... of unknown duration, and "instantly to be dismissed."101 The abundant use of modern materials in the subway had not convinced LaFarge of their reliability; he thought concrete to be only "half-understood," and described it as "treacherous, but dear to the engineer."102 The resolution of these differences between architect and engineer was yet a decade or two into the future.

Underground Station Inventory

The following inventory contains information in addition to that given in the main text. If information on a given station was unavailable, it was deleted from the inventory without notation. All stations have been altered and extended, but most still contain at least some original wall area, unless otherwise noted. [www.nycsubway.org note: most of the original ticket booths listed below as present (in 1978) are now gone.] The following information refers to all stations:

  • Brickwork and masonry: Dowd and Maslen, subcontractor
  • Facebrick: Shade #59, Fredenburg and Lounsbury, agents
  • Colored mosaic tile: American Encaustic Tile Company, manufacturer, installed by tile subcontractor as listed
  • Illuminated signs at express stations: Pulsifer and Larson Company
  • Ticket booths and woodwork: J. Odell Whitenack, subcontractor

City Hall


Image 7905
(104k, 1024x811)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: City Hall

Image 7906
(124k, 1024x807)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: City Hall

Image 7908
(93k, 1024x814)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: City Hall



  • Closed since December 31, 1945
  • Contractors: Degnon and McLean Contracting Company, R. Guastavino Company
  • See main text for description and color scheme.

Brooklyn Bridge

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Most original wall area has been covered and station plan has been altered by later connection to the BMT lines.

Worth Street

  • Station closed since September 1, 1962
  • Material subcontractors:
    Manhattan Class Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue/green tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Green terra cotta cornice
    Buff terra cotta plaques

Canal Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Class Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue/green tile tablets
    Green tile bands
    Buff terra cotta cornice
    Green terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms
  • A connection to the BMT lines has been added.

Spring Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Light blue tile bands
    White terra cotta cornice
    Light blue terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North end of uptown platform, south end of downtown

Bleecker Street


Image 7902
(70k, 1024x817)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: Bleecker Street

Image 7903
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: Bleecker Street

Image 7904
(88k, 1024x812)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: Bleecker Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue faience tablets
    Light blue tile bands
    Blue faience cornice
    Blue faience plaques
    Marble wainscot cap
  • Platform Extensions: North end of uptown platform, south end of downtown
  • The original ticket booth stands on the downtown side, and a connection to the BMT lines has been added (downtown side).

Astor Place

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue faience tablets
    Blue tile bands
    Green faieence cornice
    Blue faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North end of uptown platform, south end of downtown
  • The original ticket booth stands on the downtown side, and an underpass connects the platforms.

14th Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Blue and buff tile bands
    Yellow fajence cornice
    Blue faience plaques
  • The original ticket booth stands on the east control area. Station has been drastically altered by the addition of the BMT lines.

18th Street

  • Station closed since November 8, 1948
  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue-green tile tablets
    Buff and violet tile bands
    Violet faience cornice
    Green faience plaques

23rd Street


Image 7860
(73k, 1024x817)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 23rd Street

Image 7861
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Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 23rd Street

Image 7862
(102k, 818x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 23rd Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Rookwood Pottery Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Black tile tablets
    Violet and white tile bands
    Grey faience cornice
    Red faience plaques
    Marble wainscot
  • Platform Extensions: South ends of both platforms with additional ticket booth and entrances.

28th Street


Image 7863
(82k, 1024x821)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 28th Street

Image 7864
(106k, 1024x816)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 28th Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue faience tablets
    Buff bands and cream glass tile trim
    Blue faience cornice
    Blue fajence plaques
    Marble wainscot cap
  • Platform Extensions: Both ends of both platforms, with additional ticket booth and entrances on south ends.

33rd Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Parry, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Buff and green tile bands
    Yellow faience cornice
    Yellow faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South end of both platforms with additional ticket booth and entrances

Grand Central

  • Now Grand Central Shuttle station, dead ended. No original wall area exposed to view.
  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Parry, Tiles

Times Square


Image 7914
(126k, 1024x808)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: Times Square/42nd Street



  • Now Times Square Shuttle station, dead ended.
  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablet
    Pink and blue tile bands
    Multi-color tile pilaster
    Buff faience cornice
    Buff faience plaques
  • Original ticket booth on west (originally downtown) control area.

50th Street


Image 7865
(79k, 1024x819)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 50th Street

Image 7866
(101k, 1024x819)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 50th Street

Image 7868
(95k, 1024x821)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 50th Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Green faience tablet
    Blue tile bands
    Green cornice
    Blue plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms
  • Original ticket booth on uptown side

59th Street/Columbus Circle


Image 7870
(81k, 1024x812)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 59th Street/Columbus Circle

Image 7871
(143k, 816x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 59th Street/Columbus Circle

Image 7872
(109k, 1024x820)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 59th Street/Columbus Circle



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Green tile tablets
    Green and red tile bands
    Green cornice
    Special plaques
  • Platform Extensions: Both ends of both platforms, with connection to IND lines.

66th Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Yellow faience tablet
    Buff tile bands
    Yellow faience cornice
    Blue faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South ends of both platforms
  • Original ticket booth on downtown side.

72nd Street


Image 7873
(92k, 1024x819)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 72nd Street

Image 7874
(96k, 1024x817)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 72nd Street

Image 7875
(86k, 1024x818)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 72nd Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Parry, Tiles
  • Color Scheme:
    No faience or terra cotta
    Multi-color tile panels
  • Platform Extensions: Small extensions on north end of downtown platform, south end of uptown.

79th Street


Image 7876
(96k, 1024x820)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 79th Street

Image 7877
(101k, 1024x816)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 79th Street

Image 7879
(89k, 1024x817)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 96th Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Alfred Boote Company, Tiles
    Rookwood Pottery Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Green tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Multi-color tile pilaster
    Blue faience cornice
    Yellow faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms.

86th Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Rookwood Pottery Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Multi-color tile pilaster
    Blue faience cornice
    Yellow faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms.

91st Street

  • Station closed since February 2, 1959
  • Material Subcontractors:
    Alfred Boote Company, Tiles
    Rookwood Pottery Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Green tile bands
    Yellow faience cornice
    Violet faience plaques

96th Street


Image 7879
(89k, 1024x817)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 96th Street

Image 7880
(99k, 1024x816)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 96th Street

Image 7881
(117k, 1024x818)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 96th Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Alfred Boote Company, Tiles
  • Color Scheme:
    Red tile tablets
    Pink tile bands
    Buff cornice
    Buff plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South end of all platforms.
  • The original ticket booths stand on both control areas.

103rd Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Alfred Boote Company, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Green tile tablets
    Green, pink, red tile bands
    Yellow faience cornice
    Blue faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions:
    South end of both platforms.

110th Street/Cathedral Parkway

  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Party, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Green tile tablets
    Buff, pink, red tile bands
    Green faience cornice
    Blue faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South end of both platforms.

116th Street/Columbia University


Image 7885
(75k, 1024x806)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University

Image 7886
(110k, 815x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University

Image 7887
(70k, 816x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 116th Street/Columbia University



  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Parry, Tiles
    Grueby Faience Company, Faience
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Light blue tile bands
    Blue/green faience cornice
    Multi-color faience plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South end of both platforms.

137th Street and Broadway

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Silver/blue tile tablet (this may be a replacement)
    White tile bands
    Buff terra cotta cornice
    Green terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South ends of both platforms.

145th Street and Broadway

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Blue tile bands
    White terra cotta cornice
    Light blue terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: South end of uptown platform, north end of downtown.

157th Street

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue/green tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Green terra cotta cornice
    Buff terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms.

181st Street


Image 7896
(116k, 1024x813)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 181st Street

Image 7897
(128k, 1024x809)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 181st Street

Image 7898
(186k, 1024x820)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 181st Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Alfred Boote Company, Tiles
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Multi-color tile bands
    Light buff brick
    Marble trim
  • Platform Extensions: North ends of both platforms.
  • This is also deep tunnel. The original elevator shaft and stairway are on the east wall, and the new elevator has been inserted on the same wall.

191st Street

  • This station was not part of the original contract. It was opened January 14, 1911, and resembles the extensions of 168th and 181st Streets in appearance.

110th Street and Lenox Avenue


Image 7882
(85k, 818x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 110th Street/Central Park North

Image 7883
(96k, 1024x808)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 110th Street/Central Park North

Image 7884
(99k, 818x1024)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 110th Street/Central Park North



  • Material Subcontractors:
    John H. Parry, Tiles
  • Color Scheme:
    No terra cotta or faience
    Blue/green tile panels
    Green and buff tile bands

116th Street and Lenox Avenue

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Light blue terra cotta cornice
    Dark blue terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: Small extensions on north ends of both platforms.

125th Street and Lenox Avenue


Image 7893
(68k, 1024x816)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street

Image 7894
(78k, 1024x810)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street

Image 7895
(74k, 1024x808)
Photo by: David Sagarin/Historic American Engineering Record
Collection of: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Location: 125th Street



  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue tile tablets
    Pink tile bands
    Green terra cotta cornice
    Dark blue terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: Small extensions on north ends of both platforms.

135th Street and Lenox Avenue

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue/green tile tablets
    Violet tile bands
    White terra cotta cornice
    Green terra cotta plaques
  • Platform Extensions: Small extensions on north ends of botb platforms.
  • Original ticket booth on downtown control area.

145th Street and Lenox Avenue

  • Material Subcontractors:
    Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Tiles
    Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta
  • Color Scheme:
    Blue/green tile tablets
    Buff tile bands
    Buff terra cotta cornice
    Green terra cotta plaques

Notes

1. Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1971), p 531.

2. Report of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners, 1891, p. 72.

3. Contract for the Construction and Operation of a Rapid Transit Railroad, (1899), p. 156.

4. William Barclay Parsons, Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities, (New York, 1894).

5. Ibid., p. 9 .

6. Ibid., pp. 46-47.

7. Nikolaus Pevsner, Pioneers of Modern Design (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1960), p. 96.

8. An example of Guimard's work for the Metropolitan is preserved in the sculpture garden of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

9. Pevsner, op. cit., p. 107.

10. Ibid., p. 112.

11. These are major themes in American architectural history. See Fitch, American Building; Jordy, American Buildings and Their Architects, vol. 3; Burchard and Bush Brown, The Architecture of America.

12. Frederick S. Lamb, "Municipal Art," Municipal Affairs, vol. I, no. 4 (December, 1897), pp. 682-683.

13. Ibid., pp. 682, 684.

14. Lamb, Municipal Affairs, vol. III, no. 4 (December, 1899), p. 631.

15. See "Viollet-le-Duc and the Rational Point of View," in John Summerson, Heavenly Mansions (New York: Norton, 1963), pp. 135- 158.

16. Arthur Clason Weatherhead, A History of Collegiate Education in Architecture in the United States (Los Angeles: 1941), p. 75.

17. Proceedings of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners, 1899-1901, p. 1130.

18. Construction Diary of William Barclay Parsons, January 25, 1901.

19. Ibid., February 1, 1091; and February 18, 1901.

20. Proceedings, 1899-1901, p. 1149.

21. C. Grant LaFarge, letter of December 1, 1899, to August Belmont, Esq.

22. "Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine," (New York: St. Bartholomew's Press, 1916), p. 20.

23. Weatherhead, op, cit., p. 25.

24. C. Grant LaFarge, "The Cathedral of St. John the Divine," Scribner's Magazine (April, 1907), p. 385.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid,, p. 401. The Heins and LaFarge design was never completed. Upon the death of Mr. Heins in 1907, the church board adopted the plan of Cram and Ferguson.

27. John Burchard and Albert Bush-Brown, The Architecture of America (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1966), pp. 221-222.

28. The Battery Park Control House (Contract Two), 92 Fourth Avenue, and 488-492 Fourth Street are designated New York City Landmarks.

29. See Pevsner, Pioneers of Modern Design; Gideon, Space, Time, and Architecture; and Fitch, American Building.

30. William Barclay Parsons, "The New York Rapid Transit Subway," B. H. Tudsbery, editor (London: The Institution of Civil Engineers, 1908), p. 24.

31. Station dimensions vary because of local conditions, and all platforms have subsequently been lengthened.

32. Parsons, Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities.

33. Parsons, "The New York Rapid Transit Subway," p. 28.

34. Report, 1903, p. 203.

35. All designed by the engineers of the Rapid Transit Board except the addition of a pay toilet, which was LaFarge's idea, and the brass light fixtures, which were designed by the architects.

36. Construction Diary, July 3, 1902; November 20, 1902; and February 11, 1903.

37. Parsons, "The New York Rapid Transit Subway," p. 28.

38. Ibid., p. 29.

39. This topic has been treated in detail elsewhere. See John Taurenac, "Art and the IRT," Historic Preservation (October-December, 1973), vol. XXV, no. 4, pp. 26-31.

40. Herbert D. Groly; "Glazed and Colored Terra Cotta," Architectural Record (April, 1906), vol. XVIX, no. 4, pp. 315-323.

41. This refers to the dimensions of the brick, 12x1 and 1/2 inches, and has been variously described as Roman, Norman, or "Pompeian."

42. The term faience as used during this period should not be confused with French faience or Italian maiolica of the 17th and 18th centuries, which were fine arts potteries with a tin glaze. See Arthur Lane, French Faience, and Sturgis Laurence, "Architectural Faience," Architectural Record, vol. XXI.

43. Construction Diary, February 27, 1902; January 6, 1903; and February 25, 1903.

44. Two more of these ornamental control houses were built on Contract Two, at Bowling Green and Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. Both are still extant.

45. Construction Diary, May 3, 1901.

46. This fact is based upon a drawing of the steel superstructure of the 116th Street control house by the Rapid Transit Commission engineers, and on the fact that no details of steelwork appear in the index of architectural drawings, Transit Authority, Brooklyn. On this basis, it can be assumed that Mr. Parsons' engineers designed the steelwork for all control houses.

47. For photographs of the Budapest kiosk, see Rapid Transit in New York City and in Other Great Cities, Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, 1905, p. 312; and "Rapid Transit Subways in Metropolitan Cities," Municipal Affairs (September, 1900), vol. IV, no. 3, p. 469.

48. Advertisement of the Hecla Iron Works, Catalogue of the 20th Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York, 1905, p. 6A.

49. The western portion of 125th Street was formerly named Manhattan Street.

50. The City Hall station has been closed to the public since December 31, 1945, but the Lexington Avenue local (#6) still uses the loop to turn around.

51. Contract Drawing A1, April 7, 1898, Transit Authority Record Room, Brooklyn.

52. George Collins, "The Transfer of Thin Masonry Vaulting from Spain to America," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (October, 1968), vol. XXVII, no. 3, pp. 176-200.

53. Interborough Rapid Transit (New York: Interborough Rapid Transit Company, 1904), p. 74.

54. The power house dimensions were 200x594 feet. An addition was added to the west side in the late 1940s, according to the office staff of David Cigante, Consolidated Edison Company, New York.

55. Mr. Hunter obviously had aspirations to glory, for he published a plate of the power house in l906 and signed his name only, giving no mention to White. See "Power House - Interborough Rapid Transit Company," Architecture (July 15, 1906), Vol. XIV, no. 1, plate L1.

56. Interborough Rapid Transit, op. cit.

57. "Bill Book," McKim, Mead and White; December, 1902-March, 1906, p. 146, at the New York Historical Society.

58. The roof profile and materials have been altered.

59. See the preceding section on electrical systems for the locations of these sub-stations.

60. General information on these sub-stations was provided by Mr. Constantine Tsirickes and Mr. Dominick Cerbone of the New York City Transit Authority. My thanks to them for a most cordial tour of their facilities.

61. Sub-station #13 on West 53rd Street is seven bays long, and #12 on East 19th Street had a later addition to the rear.

62. The elevators were installed only at sub-stations #14 and #17, although all sub-stations contained an elevator shaft. These two mentioned are still in operation and were manufactured by Marine Engine and Machine Company, New York, with controls by Otis Company.

63. "The Rolling Stock of the Manhattan Railway Company," Street Railway Journal (December 6, 1902), vol. XX, no. 23, pp. 907-914.

64. "The New Steel Cars for the Subway Division of the New York Interborough Rapid Transit Company," Street Railway Journal (October 8, 1904), vol. XXIV, no. 15, p. 635. Speeds were 15 miles per hour for the five-car locals and 35 miles per hour for the eight-car express trains.

65. Ibid.

66. The composite cars were manufactured by John Stephenson Company, St. Louis Car Company, Jewett Company, and Wason Company.

67. "How Sliding Doors on New Subway Cars will be Worked," New York Times, September 13, 1903, column 6, p. 28. According to Mr. Edward Crew of the New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, automatic multiple unit doors were not introduced until the early 1920s and pioneered on the BMT lines.

68. Parsons, Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities, p. 57.

69. "Rapid Transit Subways in Metropolitan Cities," Municipal Affairs, op. cit., p. 479.

70. "Fireproof Cars for the New York Subway," American Engineering and Railroad Journal (March 4, 1904), vol. 78, p. 106.

71. The steel cars weighed 77,000 lbs. with trucks and motors, the composites, 72,000 lbs.

72. "The New Steel Cars for the Subway Division at the New York Interborough Rapid Transit Company," op. cit.

73. Parsons, Rapid Transit in Foreign Cities, pp. 30, 35, 40.

74. George A. Soper, The Air and Ventilation of Subways (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1908), p. 56.

75. Ibid., p. 113. A total of 18 blow-holes, 7 and 1/2 by 14 feet in size, were constructed between 59th and 96th Streets.

76. Ibid.

77. Report, 1905, p. 60.

78. Soper, op. cit., p. 189. See also Konrad Meier, "New York Subway Ventilation," Engineering Record (June 17, 1905); and "the Problem of Ventilation in the New York Subway and Similar Tunnels," Engineering News (June 22, 1905).

79. "The Cause of High Temperatures in the New York Subway," Engineering News (June 15, 1905).

80. Soper, op. cit., p. 97.

81. According to the 1906 Report, p. 8, 323 square feet of vault lights were removed between Brooklyn Bridge and 96th Street. This was the only portion of the line altered for ventilation improvement.

82. A thorough discussion of this cooling plant is contained in the 1906 Report.

83. Street Railway Journal (November 12, 1904), vol. XXIV, p. 893.

84. "Stations Defaced," New York Globe, October 29, 1904.

85. Ibid.

86. "Can't Stop Unsightly Ads," New York Times, October 29, 1904.

87. "To Stand by Subway Ad Contract," New York Tribune, November 3, 1904.

88. Report, 1905, p. 59.

89. Interborough Rapid Transit Company v. the City of New York and others, 47 Misc. Rep., 2214 reprinted in Report, 1905, pp. 107-111.

90. Report, 1906, p. 153.

91. Ibid.

92. Ibid., p. 155.

93. New York Sunday Sun, October 23, 1904.

94. Ibid.

95. The New York Subway Souvenir (New York: Burroughs and Company, 1904), p. 12.

96. "The Old Rapid Transit and the New," Real Estate Record and Builders Guide (October 29, 1904), vol XXIV, no 1911, p. 896.

97. Proceedings, 1904, p. 2892. As an interesting aside, this same control house was recent1y sandblasted, and scores of neighborhood residents appeared in protest, lest the building be damaged.

98. William Barclay Parsons, "The Architect and the Engineer," an address before the Architectural League of New York, February 8, 1911, p. 1.

99. Ibid., p. 6.

100. Ibid., p. 7.

101. C. Grant LaFarge, "The Cathedral of St. John the Divine," Scribner's Magazine (April, 1907), vol. XLI, no. 4, p. 386.

102. Ibid.









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