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A Train Tablet    A Lefferts Sign

 

 

 Manhattan Tile Band

 

North refers to trains to 207th Street and South refers to trains to Lefferts.

For photos please see www nycsubway.org 

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207th STREET

 

207 Street/Inwood (On Broadway between 207th and 211th Streets/Isham Ave) Opened 9/10/1932:  This is where the Independent Subway system, aka the IND, was born and is the 3rd such system in NYC before the 1940 unification of the 3 rail operating companies .  The original A line ran express from 207th Street to Chambers Street (the AA provided the local service from 168th Street to Hudson Terminal, today’s World Trade Center station.) until further expansion of the IND system took place in the early and mid-1930’s.  The current layout of this station has 2 separate mezzanines; it used to have a full length passageway, now the current space is used for NYCT employees only.  2 stairs from platform to mezzanine level, located in between current mezzanines, which were removed some time ago, also suggests further evidence of this full length mezzanine.  Full time side at 207th Street has 3 street stairs, 1 ADA elevator (the station is fully ADA accessible) at Northwest corner of 207th street and Broadway, and 1 large double-width stairs to single island platform, typical of most end terminal stations.  The Part time side at 211th street/ Isham Pl has ghost booth (victim of the 2003 booth closings), 24/7 HEET access, 2 street stairs and 2 stairs to platform level.  Artwork “At the Start…At Long Last…”  (1999) by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, contains wall and floor tiles all over both mezzanines that chronicle the historical origins of Inwood, the neighborhood that this and other adjoining stations serve, and how it took shape in modern NYC history.  One tile has an excerpt from the NY Times on the IND’s opening day (printed on 9/11/1932).  There is silver glitter dotting the title of the artwork.  Downstairs on the platform walls, the replica of the IND style tile band is silver on the top and bottom of the purple tile band, a departure from the customarily black borders.  The tile band was formed by using prearranged “blocks” of full length wall partitions and attaching them to the existing wall, thus assembling them together.   7th Ave/53rd street, Broadway-Lafayette IND, and Atlantic Ave/Brighton BMT stations also have this look.  A closer examination of both renovated walls reveals that you can see the “breaks” in the walls at about every 10 feet in width.  Prior to the 1999 renovation, the station walls had no tile band, only “207” was visible. According to the MTA web site "...Mirror mosaic text, silkscreened tiles, etched railings, and terrazzo pavers on the mezzanine. Sheila Levrant de Bretteville focuses on the origins and history of the multinational community in and around Inwood. Within the station, a terrazzo paver marks the spot of the northern-most point of the A line, and metallic silver Murano mosaics compose the large letters that signal you are at a place of arrival and departure. White-glazed ceramic tiles comment on the experience of recent immigrants to New York and on the elevator wall are figures from various present-day Latino civilizations. Finally, there is a motif of flute-playing figures in terrazzo pavers on the mezzanine that comment on the role of music in the community. "Musical history resonates here," she says, "it is the soul of this community." She highlights this by etching lyrics from "Take the A Train" on the stainless steel railing of the mezzanine stairwell.

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DYCKMAN STREET

200 STREET

 

Dyckman St/200th Street (Broadway and Dyckman Street/Riverside Drive) (Opened 9/10/1932):.This station has 2 side platforms and 4 tracks, giving the initial impression that it is a local stop.  The 2 “express” tracks actually are yard leads to the sprawling 207th St yard and maintenance shop.  The Fulltime side is on the Downtown side and has 3 street stairs to fare control at platform level.  The northern 2 street stairs have a passageway of which some businesses stores were located here as a subway arcade at one time, they are all closed and boarded up.  There is an underpass to the 207th St-bound side and exit only with 3 street stairs from the platform.  One of the stairs to the underpass from the Southbound side is gated closed, the other is open.  Station tablet is purple. 

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190 STREET

OVERLOOK TERRACE

 

190th Street-Overlook Terrace: (East of Fort Washington Ave and North of 190th street) opened 9/10/1932. Among the most intriguing of all NYC subway and elevated stations, 190th street its beneath bedrock at about 150 feet below street level on one side, but is actually above street level when exiting to the east side at Bennett Ave.  This is due to the varied topology of the area which is very hilly; the IRT engineers had a similar problem with excavating tunnels when building nearby 191st Street station. The station can be accessed by using 2 different entrances, both of which lead to the only mezzanine.  The first and more common entrance to use is descending a set of stairs facing the east side of Fort Tryon Park, at Fort Washington Ave, to a stationhouse that has 3 elevators.  At least one of these elevators is manned by a NYCT employee, all others are self-service.  The elevator will take you 120 feet down to the mezzanine level.  Also at the stationhouse inside, an boarded up old-style change booth is visible and is facing the elevators (tokens were sold at this location), along with a possible 2nd closed entrance opposite the current entrance to the house.  The stationhouse has an 19th century feel to it as you look at the arched entrance.  The second way to access this station is to use the long green walled passageway about 300 feet east to Bennett Ave and the far eastern end of Fort Tryon Park (there is no access to the park from this entrance).  This is a downhill incline and I give the impression that because of the hill, the street entrance at Bennett Ave is lower than the station platforms inside.  There is an HXT high wheel that allows customers to exit there without walking upstairs to the mezzanine first.  A covered “Uptown” sign at the top of the exit-only ramp suggests that when the IND first opened, one could’ve descended down the ramp and use the old Iron Maiden high wheel turnstile there.  The mezzanine affords a nice view of the tracks and trains below.  Station is 2 tracks, 2 side platforms, 2 stairs to each platform from mezzanine and the ramp discussed previously, the arched tunneled like ceiling on the platform level, shows the tunnel was used the boring method, instead of “cut and cover”.  Station name tablet near staircases reads “190th ST.-OVERLOOK TERR.”.  This station is well protected from many possible man-made and nature threats at the surface; it was the site for numerous atomic and scientific experiments carried out by researchers.     

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181 STREET

 

181ST Street (Fort Washington Ave, between 181st and 184th Streets) opened 9/10/1932:  Not as deep as 190th Street but still a very deep station, nevertheless.  Station is 2 tracks and 2 side platforms with full length mezzanine and Fulltime booths on both ends.  The mezzanine affords a clear and unobstructed view of both platforms but not the tracks and trains themselves. The north end has 2 exits, one a passageway to West 184th street and Overlook Terrace, the 2nd way to exit it via one of three elevators to West 184th street and Fort Washington Ave.  The cathedral-like entrance is similar to design to the elevator entrance at 190th Street station.  The south end has 3 escalators to fare control level, then exit can be made by any one of the 4 street stairs. There is a sign to Yeshiva University. 

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175 STREET

G W BRIDGE TERMINAL

 

175th Street/G W Bridge Bus Terminal (Originally 175th Street) Opened 9/10/1932:  This is one of the few stations that has no tile band on either platform wall.  The station first opened as 175th street because the GW Bridge bus terminal was not constructed until 1963.  Fulltime is at 177th Street with 3 street stairs and block long passageway to GWB Bus terminal, 2 tracks on island platform and 6 stairs from full-length mezzanine to platform.  The northernmost stair is exit only; all others are full entry or exit from either fare control.   The Part time side at 175th street has ghost booth (closed in 2003), 24/7 HEET access and 2 street stairs.  The station is fully ADA accessible, except for the passageway to the bus station which contains steps.  (The bus terminal is neither ADA, nor wheelchair accessible to begin with).  At the time the station (and the rest of the line) opened, the nearby George Washington Bridge was not even a year old; it opened on 10/25/1931.  The combined work of 2 agencies (Port Authority for the GWB, IND for the subway), show how the Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods exploded in population, even with the adversary of the 1929 Great Depression. 

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168 STREET

 

168th Street (Originally 168th Street-Washington Heights) Opened 9/10/1932:  Is discussed on the complexes page 

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145 STREET

 

145th Street-Harlem (St. Nicholas Ave between 145th and 147th Streets) opened 9/10/1932: This station has 2 levels, the upper level is where the A and C trains stop, and the lower level is where the Concourse B and D trains stop here.  There are 2 full time mezzanines, one at 145th street (4 street stairs available, one for each corner), and the other at 147th street (2 street stairs).  Each side has 3 stairs from mezzanine to the upper level, and 1 escalator from each mezzanine, directly down to the Uptown only side lower level (B/D) platform.  There are no escalators from the Downtown side to upper level.  Like many other IND stations when first opened, it had a full length mezzanine connecting both of today's mezzanines; this space is now used by the NYPD as a Transit Bureau District Office.  Unknown to most people, there was also exits in the middle of the closed mezzanine, there actually is (what appears to be) an original 1932 IND sign on the Downtown, upper level side that sits overhead in the middle of the platform. To see this sign, you need to stand and face the north end it reads "exit to street".  Outside of the station, on the street, an closed and slabbed over staircase still sits on the Northwest corner of 146th Street and St. Nicholas.  The upper level is 4 tracks and 2 island platforms; however the lower level has 3 tracks and 2 island platforms.  The Uptown platform on the lower level is wider than the Downtown platform, the possible IND plan was to make the Concourse line in the Bronx as 4 tracks, but plans were scaled back down to 3.  The Concourse line opened a year later after the first IND line (1933).  This station is where midday and evening B trains terminate on the middle track before returning back to Brooklyn.  During AM and PM rush hours, the same middle track is used by D Concourse express trains in the peak direction traveled only (AM Southbound and PM Northbound).  From this point down to 59th Street/Columbus Circle, there are 4 lines (A, B, C, D) running.  From 145th the train enters a maze of complex switches, but is actually easier to figure things out when you ride area between these points a few times each way. 

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125 STREET

 

125th Street (125th Street and Saint Nicholas Ave.)  Opened 9/10/1932Express stop in the heart of Harlem's busiest commercial strip, it is an express stop with 4 tracks and 2 island platforms.  The station is undergoing a light makeover and is being made ADA accessible by 2005 with new elevators.   The station had a renovation in the 1980's, during which the set of stairs to each platform at the north end were removed.  The current ADA plan restored these 2 stairs at the far North end.  Station has full length mezzanine with one each of  Fulltime and Part time fare control areas.  Fulltime side at 125th street has 4 street stairs and Part time side has 2 street stairs. There are 5 stairs to each platform.  There are large scale photos of Harlem in the 1920's and 1930's, however due to the current state of the station's upgrade to ADA status, the construction zones are temporarily blocking off the pictures.  In the middle of the mezzanine, there is evidence of closed stairs and exits to 126th street, one on each side.  One of the stairs appears to lead into a business that existed at street level.  The tile band on the platform walls is untouched from the 1980's renovation and is green 

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59 STREET

COLUMBUS CIRCLE

 

59th Street Columbus Circle opened 9/10/1932 and is described on the Complexes Page 

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42 STREET

PORT AUTHORITY

 

42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal opened 9/10/1932 and is described on the Complexes Page 

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34 STREET

PENN STATION

 

34th Street Penn Station opened on 9/10/1932 and has four tracks. There are two wall platforms serving the local trains and an island platform serving the express trains. It was renovated by Citnalta Construction Company and features art on the lower Mezzanine with a Madison Square Garden theme and has full ADA to all platforms. Alongside the walls of both local platforms are nice IND style replica lettering and tablets showing "Madison Square Garden" . The Garden did not open at their current location until 36 years after the station opened ( 1968) A source within Citnalta advised the curved wall was a real challenge for them (and they did do very well.). The station also has exits to Penn station which serves NJT, LIRR, and Amtrak. One fallacy exists with the renovation—the lower mezzanine’s booth is closed overnight and a big backup trying to enter and exit via the HEETs. It is remedied only by crowd control or NYPD opening the turnstiles. This station has numerous ghost booths. Your webmaster has had excellent cooperation from employees, supervisors and managers of the many contractors (in house or external) renovating stations and extends our thanks for their generous assistance. 

According to the MTA web site"...The Garden of Circus Delights is the artist's homage to the circus, which makes annual visits to Madison Square Garden, located above the station, and also connected to the Long Island Rail Road. Eric Fischl's work is narrative and this work follows in this tradition. A series of murals takes commuters from the familiar to the bizarre circus world. "I thought it would be amusing," Fischl says, "to do a contemporary Dante's Inferno, to turn commuting into a spiritual quest." The murals portray fire-breathers, acrobats, and animals; gradually one realizes that a commuter has left home and been pulled into the circus, where he meets incredible circus characters and then, on the other side of the tent, he emerges in the white light and harmony, a commuter again, but transported and transformed."

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14 STREET

 

14th Street opened 9/10/1932 and is described on the Complexes Page 

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WEST 4 STREET

WASHINGTON SQUARE

 

West 4th Street-Washington Square opened on 9/10/1932 (Ave of the Americas between West 3rd St and Waverly Place) Upper level opened 9/10/1932, Lower level opened 12/15/1940. has four tracks on the upper level, serving A,( see  A Lefferts and A Rockaway)  C and E trains, a lower Mezzanine and then a lower level serving B, D, F , M and former  V trains. The lower Mezzanine is full width and length and also holds numerous offices for NYCT. The north end of the upper level has exits to the street. The south end of the upper level ramps up to a crossover and a booth. Full ADA is  via the south end.. A tower is at the south end of the southbound lower level platform. The North exit leads to West Eighth Street and the south to west Third Street. The exit to west Fourth Street has been removed. The station has a secondary name of Washington Square.  

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CANAL  STREET

HOLLAND TUNNEL

 

Canal Street (on 6th Avenue at Canal Street0 opened on 9/10/1932 and has four tracks and two offset island platforms (the offset is due to switches at both ends) with a crossunder at the extreme south end only. There is an artwork entitled “A Gathering” installed in 2000. It is by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz and features 188 birds in fourteen lifelike poses. The American Museum of Natural History assisted the designers with this project by providing specimens to study. It has been renovated and had closed passageway and exit to Grand Street.  It was closed due to security concerns by NYCT and the Transit Police (at that time before the 1998 merger.) 

 According to the MTA web Site "...Bronze sculptures on token booth, railings, and beams throughout mezzanine. Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have turned the Canal Street Station into a subterranean aviary. There are dozens of birds - 174 grackles and blackbirds, in a number of different poses, and seven crows, all cast in bronze and given a glossy black patina. They are seen roosting on railings and perched in groups, like people waiting for the train, watching, lost in thought, or chatting. Birds, the artists note, are very social creatures - just like New Yorkers, and riders may find echoes of themselves and other subway riders in their lively expressions. Canal Street is a busy commercial thoroughfare, devoid of nature. A Gathering compensates for this by enlivening the space and providing respite from the dense traffic and bustling commercialism above."

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CHAMBERS STREET

WORLD TRADE CENTER

 

Chambers Street WTC opened on 9/10/1932 and is described on the Complexes Page 

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FULTON STREET

 

Fulton Street (formerly Broadway Nassau) opened on 2/1/1933 and is described on the Complexes Page 

Brooklyn Tile Band

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HIGH STREET

BROOKLYN BRIDGE

 

High Street Brooklyn Bridge opened on 2/1/1933 and has two tracks and an island platform in a tube design. There are exits at both ends to the full Mezzanine along with evidence (gated stairways) of removed center exits to the Mezzanine. The F Train joins us for one station and we enter the next station 

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JAY STREET

METRO TECH

 

Jay Street Metro Tech has four tracks and two island platforms. As currently configured there is a mezzanine most of the length of the platforms and a passageway to Fulton Street outside the paid area. There are also HEETs to allow access to Fulton Street.. Based on tile evidence this station has many ghost booths and sealed exits. There are also entrances  to the NYCT building at both ends, the north leading directly into the building and is guarded by Transit Property Protection Agents. This end also has an intermediate level outside the subway entrance there was also a paper transfer to the elevated Myrtle Avenue el which ran on Myrtle Avenue and met the brown M train at Broadway Myrtle and is now demolished. The F train leaves us and we press on. This station has been connected to the R train Lawrence Street Station  with a new in system transfer. This complex is described on the complexes page

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HOYT SCHERMERHORN

 

Hoyt Schermerhorn (at the intersection of Hoyt Street and Schermerhorn Street) opened on 4/9/1936 and is a very unusual station which has lots to see. It has six tracks and four island platforms of which only the inner pair of platforms are in use. The two outer island platforms are used for movie and commercial shoots. The A and C use the local side of the open island platforms and the G uses the express. There are numerous sealed stairways and exits including a sealed passageway to Livingston Street and the long gone Loesser’s Department Store via direct entrance to the store. A police facility also occupies the mezzanine along with various NYCT offices. The last use of the outer platforms was for the Aqueduct Race Track specials. While not done today, trains on the local track of the open island could open doors on the closed island’s express track but bold red signs at the conductor’s position  advise “ DO NOT OPEN DOORS—WRONG SIDE”. The “local” tracks on the closed wall platforms lead to the Transit Museum (Court Street Station) and were once used for the short lived Court Street Shuttle which ran from Hoyt to Court Street. Based on track numbers, these tracks were planned to continue to today’s World Trade Center Station on the E train.  (Both lines share the same track letter codes. For more information on this see www.nycsubway.org and Brennan’s page) 

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NOSTRAND AVENUE

 

Nostrand Avenue  (on Fulton Street at Nostrand Avenue) opened on4/9/1936 and is a unique two level station with two wall platforms and two tracks on the upper level and two wall platforms with a curtain wall which hides two more tracks or trackways! In an interesting arrangement the express tracks use the upper level rather than the lower level, the only station in the entire NYC subway system to have that arrangement.  This station was originally planned to be a local station with a mezzanine. The upper platforms are double wide which would eastbound consistent with the design of a Mezzanine. There is a closed passageway with a crossover to Bedford Avenue at the north end of the upper level along with a closed exit to Arlington Place. The lower level has a curtain wall separating the two tracks. If you are fortunate enough to get a rail fan window view you can see the express rising and see the local track directly under the express platforms. If you had x-ray vision the local tracks are under the express platforms. There is no direct entrance to the LIRR station which is two blocks south on street. From the northbound platform’s south end a hole in the curtain wall allows a bright flashlight beam to show the two center tracks or trackways.  

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UTICA AVENUE

 

Utica Avenue (On Fulton Street at Utica Avenue) opened on 4/9/1936 and has four tracks and two wall platforms. This station has a shell for a future Utica Avenue IND subway. For more information see Brennan’s page and www.nycsubway.org.  Platforms widen toward the center. There are exists at both ends and the center. The center exit leads to an intermediate level and has an artwork entitled “Children’s Cathedral” by Jimmy James Greene and was installed in 1996. A close look at the ceiling reveals the trackways for this future subway as well as double doors on the intermediate level at the center exit.  The once full mezzanine's center portion is now employee space and holds a big secret-- A mosaic tablet points the way to a slabbed over exit to Stuyvesant avenue.

 According to the MTA Web site "...Ceramic mosaic and iron grillwork in passageways leading to platforms. Dominating one of Jimmy James Greene's huge mosaic panels in the Utica Avenue station is a plump yellow angel on rollerblades. Perhaps more than any image in the ten panels that compose Children's Cathedral, this demonstrates the artist's intentions: to reflect the desires, dreams and memories of the community's children in their own drawings. "At first," he says, "I talked with the kids about how they play, learn, pray, and celebrate. Then they drew." What emerged were images of the neighborhood: shops, a woman pushing a baby carriage, a teacher in class, plants, flowers, and, most of all, children in action: singing in choir, jumping rope, reading, riding bikes. The artist took hundreds of the children's images and arranged them into eight groupings, adding color to the pencil drawings. "They were the soloists," he says, "I was the orchestra leader."

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BROADWAY JUNCTION

 

Broadway Junction (Entrance at Van Sinderen Avenue between  Fulton Street and Eastern Parkway )opened on 12/30/1946 as Broadway East New York and is described on the Complexes Page 

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EUCLID AVENUE

 

Euclid Avenue (on Pitkin Avenue at Euclid Avenue) opened on 11/28/1948 and has four tracks and two island platforms. It represents the first expansion of the IND since the Sixth Avenue Line opened in 1940There is a crossover at the south end. This is the end of the C train. Normally the C uses the local track but can use the express track. which is currently used by the A Train.

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GRANT AVENUE

 

Grant Avenue (on Grant Avenue mid block between Glenmore and Pitkin Avenues) opened on 4/29/1956 and has two tracks and an island platform. The Mezzanine is near the center and is at street level. Tile is green in a soldier course.  Our Tile master advises that the proper tile band should be purple.   A glimpse into the tunnel at the south end reveals a track entering from the geographic south and comes from Pitkin Yard. 

We now leave the subway and ramp up to a remnant of the old BMT Fulton Street el. Our line now has three tracks with the center tracking coming from Pitkin Yard

Queens Tile Band

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80 STREET

HUDSON STREET

 

80th street Hudson Street (on Liberty Avenue at 80th Street) opened on 4/29/1956 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with a crossunder at both ends. The north exit leads to 77th street and the south to 80th street. 

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88 STREET

BOYD AVENUE

 

88th Street Boyd Avenue (on Liberty Avenue at 88th Street) opened on 4/29/1956 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with a crossunder at both ends. The north exit now closed leads to 86th street and the south to 88th street. 

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ROCKAWAY BOULEVARD

 

Rockaway Boulevard (on Liberty Avenue at Woodhaven Boulevard and 94th Street) opened on 4/29/1956 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with a crossunder at both ends. The North exit leads to 94th street, Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. The south exit leads to Rockaway Boulevard and 96th Street.  

 We leave the Rockaway Line behind and temporarily have two tracks until  the Rockaway split is completed when a new center track diverges from both outer tracks. 

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104 STREET

OXFORD AVENUE

 

104th Street Oxford Avenue (On Liberty Avenue at 104th Street) opened on 4/29/1956 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with a crossunder at both ends. The north exit leads to 102nd street and is sealed. The south exit leads to 104th Street. This station needs TLC. 

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111 STREET

GREENWOOD AVENUE

 

111th Street Greenwood Avenue (on Liberty Avenue at 111th Street) opened on 4/29/1956 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with a crossunder at both ends. The north exit leads to 109th Street and the south to 111th street. 

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LEFFERTS BOULEVARD

Lefferts Boulevard (On Liberty Avenue at Lefferts Boulevard ) opened on 4/29/1956 and has two tracks and an island platform with a crossunder at both ends. The north mezzanine leads to 116th street and has various offices and employee facilities. This Mezzanine was renovated by an NYCT in house contract in 1999. 

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 Last revised 01/15/13

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