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Station: City Hall (Broadway Line)

From nycsubway.org

BMT Broadway Line
R.GIF 71st-Continental Aves.-Forest Hills · 67th Avenue · 63rd Drive-Rego Park · Woodhaven Boulevard-Queens Mall · Grand Avenue-Newtown · Elmhurst Avenue · Roosevelt Avenue · 65th Street · Northern Boulevard · 46th Street · Steinway Street · 36th Street · Queens Plaza · Lexington Avenue-59th Street · 5th Avenue · 57th Street · 49th Street · 42nd Street-Times Square · 34th Street-Herald Square · 28th Street · 23rd Street · 14th Street-Union Square · 8th Street · Prince Street · Canal Street · City Hall · Cortlandt Street-World Trade Center · Rector Street · Whitehall Street · Court Street · Jay Street-Metrotech · DeKalb Avenue · Pacific Street · Union Street · 9th Street · Prospect Avenue · 25th Street · 36th Street · 45th Street · 53rd Street · 59th Street · Bay Ridge Avenue · 77th Street · 86th Street · 95th Street-Fort Hamilton


Overview

Opened: 4/14/1918

Next up is City Hall, a station with one large, irregularly shaped island platform. The fare control is in the center of the platform, leaving the ends open for crossing over between directions. An active tower is at the north end. The trackside walls feature a mosaic rendering of the City Hall cupola.

Built along with the rest of the Dual Contract lines and opened in 1918, the active platform at City Hall Station was originally designed to be a stub terminal for local trains, following the pattern in which almost all of the Manhattan subway lines were built. Local trains were to terminate inside the borough while express trains would diverge and cross the river into Brooklyn. The IND 8th Avenue (locals terminate at World Trade Center), the IRT East Side (locals terminate at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall), and IRT West Side (locals terminate at South Ferry) lines all follow this pattern, as does the IND Fulton Street line in Brooklyn as it was initially operated (locals terminated at Court Street).

To accommodate the express trains, therefore, City Hall station was designed with another set of tracks and platforms on a lower level. The plan was that the Brooklyn-bound express trains from upper Manhattan (and the Bronx, had a northern extension of the Broadway Subway been built) were to use the lower level, connecting to the subway running under Church Street and Trinity Place, and then to Brooklyn via the Montague Street Tunnel (as the line is operated today).

Plans were changed when it was decided to run subway trains over the Manhattan Bridge. The express trains were diverted from Broadway under Canal Street leaving only the local trains running south under Broadway to City Hall. The upper level platform was then converted into a through platform, which explains part of the irregular shape of the island platform on the upper level. The southbound side of the platform is straight as an arrow, and the northbound side is curved at the south end. But, the trackside wall on the northbound side is straight; there is a space between the wall and the track itself at the south end of the northbound side of the station. Immediately south of the station the tracks ramp down to meet the lower level grade to continue south along Vesey Street and into Church Street. The local tracks on the upper local sit above the outer tracks on the lower level. The columns on the platform delineate the tracks and platforms under them.

That change in plans rendered the lower level at City Hall unnecessary, and in fact, no service has ever been operated on the lower level. The fact that the Broadway line was never extended northward contributed to the fact that the lower level has never been used- there is simply not enough traffic on this line to support two river crossings and a Manhattan terminal. This may some day change if the BMT Broadway line is ever permanently served by either the 63rd Street tunnel or the 2nd Avenue subway.

The lower level was never even finished; there are no wall tiles on the lower level and the steel beamwork has a decidedly rough look to it. The platforms are narrow, and only the west one has a finished top and stairways to the upper level platforms. Stairways on the eastern side platform don't appear to ever have been "punched through" the floor on the upper level.

The lower level tracks are used for train storage; north of City Hall the lower and upper level tracks rise into a typical four-track express/local configuration but the "express tracks" are really just tail tracks; there are crossovers just prior to entering Canal Street; the center tracks themselves dead end at concrete bumper blocks about 2/3rds of the way into Canal Street station.

detail-bmtcityhall.png

Track Map of the BMT Broadway Line in the City Hall area.

A persistant rumor concerns a plaque that might have been installed at City Hall honoring Beach's pneumatic subway. The New York Times even reported on its placement. No such plaque exists here or anywhere else in the subway system. It is unclear whether it was ever placed at all.


Photo Gallery - Upper Level


Image 1223
(125k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall

Image 1224
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall

Image 1227
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall

Image 1228
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall

Image 31974
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: City Hall

Image 31976
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: City Hall

Image 71792
(200k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Leonard Wilson
Location: City Hall

Image 85732
(252k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Leonard Wilson
Location: City Hall

Image 87102
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Photo by: Aliandro Brathwaite
Location: City Hall

Image 107218
(173k, 1044x700)
Photo by: Zach Summer
Location: City Hall

Image 108228
(335k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Roberto C. Tobar
Location: City Hall

Image 112855
(265k, 1044x700)
Photo by: Zach Summer
Location: City Hall

Image 112856
(244k, 1044x700)
Photo by: Zach Summer
Location: City Hall

Image 131914
(357k, 1044x867)
Photo by: Kevin Wong
Location: City Hall

Image 136869
(284k, 1024x687)
Photo by: Wilfredo Castillo
Location: City Hall


More Images: 1-31

Photo Gallery - Lower Level


Image 1261
(125k, 1008x672)
Photo by: Peter Dougherty
Location: City Hall Lower Level

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Photo by: Peter Dougherty
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 1264
(124k, 1008x672)
Photo by: Peter Dougherty
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 1265
(147k, 1008x672)
Photo by: Peter Dougherty
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 26328
(173k, 1024x529)
Photo by: Chris Leverett
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31839
(166k, 1044x701)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31840
(154k, 1044x701)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31843
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31847
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31848
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31849
(127k, 1044x701)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31851
(147k, 1044x701)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31852
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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 31857
(149k, 1044x701)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: City Hall Lower Level

Image 35689
(159k, 790x1191)
Photo by: George Cuhaj
Location: City Hall Lower Level


More Images: 1-34









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