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 E Tablet    E Train Digital Sign


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Queens Tile Band





Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer Opened 12/11/1988This station sits at the central hub of Downtown Jamaica and is the terminus of both E and J trains.  The station was not intended to be a terminal, as a late 1960’s MTA master plan show the lines were planned to extend down Merrick Blvd, towards either Springfield Gardens or JFK Airport.  The plans were cut short and construction was halted, during the 70’s fiscal crisis.  Noting the overburdened 169th Street/Hillside Ave station, which this station is inadequate to accommodate crowds through narrow staircases, the first 2 MTA Capital Programs helped put Jamaica Center and 2 other stations on the subway map.  It also ensured the J line’s presence into the 21st Century, as it was being cut back from 168th Street to 121st Street on 2 separate occasions, the first due to a fire that gutted part of the 168th Street station, the other to allow a new track connection to take place.  The current terminal station has 2 levels and is fully ADA accessible.  The upper level is for E trains, while the lower level is for J trains.  Neither level has track connections from one level to another, although it is possible to run a train from one level, through Manhattan, and come back to Jamaica Center on the other level.  Each level is 2 tracks and 1 island platform.  Fulltime side has 1 wide set of street stairs, 2 escalators, one on each side on Archer Ave, an elevator, newsstand, 1 escalator and stair to upper level, 2 escalators directly to lower level from mezzanine, and one elevator from mezzanine to both platform levels.  The elevator and south escalator leads to an outdoor intermodal bus terminal which serves several NYCT bus routes to most of southeastern Queens and one LI Bus line .  Many other bus routes from various companies are a short walk away from this station.  The Part time side at 153rd Street has 3 street stairs, one escalator to the same bus terminal, 1 set of escalators to each level from the mezzanine area, and 1 staircase from upper to lower level. 

According to the MTA Web Site "... Sam Gilliam. Jamaica Center Station Riders, Blue, 1991.Painted aluminum sculpture on wall above entrance. The wall sculpture consists of two elements, a large ellipse and an armature that holds it, constructed of aluminum plate with deep welds. Gilliam's has long been interested in sculptural and theatrical work that interacts with the space it inhabits. He began draping his canvases and this led to his public sculpture such as this piece, where aluminum has taken the place of a canvas. In the artist's words, the work "calls to mind movement, circuits, speed, technology, and passenger ships...the colors used in the piece... refer to colors of the respective subway lines. The predominant use of blue provides one with a visual solid in a transitional area that is near subterranean."





JFK Airport/ Sutphin Boulevard (formerly Sutphin Blvd/Archer Ave,) Archer Ave at Sutphin Blvd)  opened 12/11/1988:   This station has the same bi-level setup as Jamaica Center (2 tracks on each island platform level), and is an important feeder connection to the LIRR’s Jamaica Hub station, AirTrain, as well as numerous local bus routes in the area.  Though the station is young, it already is in dire need of cleaning and a little bit of TLC.  The platforms are extra wide on the upper level.  Station has 4 street stairs, 1 stair/1 pair of escalators from mezzanine to upper level, 2 stairs/2 escalators from upper to lower levels.  Newest exits are 2 escalators leading to the LIRR and AirTrain stations on the southeastern end of the circular mezzanine 





Jamaica Ave/Metropolitan Ave (formerly Jamaica/Van Wyck) alongside the Southbound Van Wyck Expressway between Jamaica and 89th Avenues.)  Opened 12/11/1988 this station was renamed to avoid confusion with a similarly named Van Wyck Blvd station.  It serves the nearby Jamaica Hospital.  We already broke off the J on the lower level and now heading to connect with the original Hillside Ave F line branch soon.  The station is one island platform and 2 tracks.  One mezzanine has 2 entrances, first entrance is at 89th Ave/Jamaica Hospital (2 escalators and 1 street stair), the other at Metropolitan Avenue (1 up escalator and staircase).  From mezzanine to platform level, it’s 2 escalators and 1 staircase.  Looking outside on the street, the line runs alongside the same level as the Van-Wyck expressway, there are windows on the Manhattan-bound side that at one time, allowed natural sunlight to beam down into the station.  Today drapings cover the windows and no sunlight is visible. he pronunciation of "Wyck" rhymes with "Bike".





Union Turnpike Kew Gardens Queens Blvd at Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens Road) opened 12/13/1936 Express stop, with 4 tracks on 2 island platforms.  We are now sharing space with the F line from here to Roosevelt Ave.  We run express weekdays from 5:30 AM to 6 PM inbound and 6:30 AM to 7:45 PM outbound.  All other times, we come in on the local track.  Station has 2 mezzanines and was built around the same time the Interborough Parkway (Now called the Jackie Robinson Parkway),was constructed in the late 1930’s, now called the Jackie Robinson Parkway.  An interesting aspect of the station is the unique set of castle-like doors on both mezzanines; each one allows anyone to walk alongside the parkway for a brief minute before exiting through the standard subway staircases. (Don’t worry, there are wired fences to separate the cars from the pedestrians.).  However, the castle door exit at the Part time side is closed for unknown reasons.  Each mezzanine has 3 street stairs and 3 stairs to each platform, for a total of 6 exits and 6 sets of stairs to each platform.  Fulltime side is at east end, near Kew Gardens Road, it serves the Q10 bus to JFK Airport, as well as 3 other bus routes,  while Part time side is at 78th Road, and is open daily from 6 AM to Midnight.  It was impossible to construct a full length mezzanine because the parkway splits in half. Tile band is medium yellow with black borders.  Full words UNION TURNPIKE are spelled out on the walls.  A tower is visible on the Manhattan-bound platform, active only on weekdays.  It  is  a key ADA station. 





71st Avenue Continental Avenue Forest Hills (Queens Blvd @ 71st Ave/108th Street) Opened 12/13/1936 has 4 tracks on 2 island platforms, and is the terminus of R, and M, ( For local service between here and Court Square see the R  or M pages.).  There are 3 fare control areas along full width mezzanine.  2 of the 3 fare control areas are near each other along wraparound passageway outside of fare control. The fulltime booth is near the east end and is closest to 71st Ave/Queens Blvd staircase on south side.  A Part time booth in the same area is in the middle and is closest to 108th street71st Avenue.  It is open during AM rush hours, other times; a couple of HEETs can be used.  The other Part time booth at the far west end is at 70th Road/Queens Blvd and has only one street stair.  There are 7 street stairs to each platform.  On the platform, the platform wall has green tile band with black border.  Facing the express tracks are the vintage 1936 white signs with black lettering "  Contin-ental Ave Forest Hills" .A renovated and expanded tower is at the far eastern end of the Jamaica-bound platform, another mini-tower also sits on the center of the Manhattan-bound platform but it is seldom used.  Before we enter this station, there are a set of tracks rising from the lower level, one for each direction.  These tracks are used for local trains relaying back downtown, as well as yard moves to the massive Jamaica Yard facility nearby.  They come up and merge with both local and express tracks in “Y” track configuration. 




Roosevelt Avenue Jackson Heights is discussed on the Complexes Page 




Queens Plaza (Jackson Ave, at Bridge Plaza South/Queens Blvd) opened 8/19/1933:   This station has undergone a full scale renovation by Arena Construction .  4 tracks, 2 island platforms along curved section.   Before the renovation, the station had full length mezzanine (inside and outside fare control) with as many as 3 booths.  Fulltime booth is near the center of the mezzanine has 3 street stairs  and outside passage to 2 more street stairs at south end, near ghost booth.  The old-style change booth was in place as recent as 1998 before it was subsequently removed.  2 of the outside entrances were redone to match the color of the NYC DOT indoor parking lot structure, when it was constructed in 1975.  The Part time booth has 2 street stairs and 1 stair to each platform.  A station facility now blocks the passage between Part time and fulltime fare control areas inside fare control, thus the mezzanine is divided in half (consistent with other IND mezzanine reconfigurations).  But the Fulltime area now boasts of balconies that allow you to see the local trains and platforms down below, it didn’t have this unique feature prior to the renovation.  There are 3 stairs to each platform from the Fulltime end, 2 stairs in between both fare control areas were removed during the renovation process. 

According to the MTA Web Site "...Look Up, Not Down, 2005. Glass mosaics on mezzanine walls. In Look Up, Not Down, Ellen Harvey asks riders to pretend that they are gazing skyward at the view that exists above the station. Her series of mosaic murals depict the sky on a sunny day, with the skyline forming a thin frame at the bottom of each mosaic, and represents the actual cityscape at the time it was created. The work guides travelers to the surrounding streets at this busy transportation hub. The piece celebrates the romance of the skyline as seen from Queens, imagined as the center of the city. At a time when the New York City skyline may be associated with loss, Look Up, Not Down shows the skyline as an image of hope and beauty. The sun marks the former location of the World Trade Center. In years to come, as the city continues to reinvent itself, the mosaics will serve as a view of a past moment in time.




Court Square (formerly 23rd Street Ely Avenue) opened on 8/19/1933 and is discussed on the Complexes Page 

Manhattan Tile Band




Lexington Avenue opened on 8/19/1933 and is discussed on the Complexes Page 




5th Avenue/53rd Street opened on 8/19/1933 and has two one track levels with the platform on the South side. A tower is on the south end of the upper platform which serves trains to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn while the lower level serves trains to Queens. The north exit leads to Madison Avenue while the south leads to Fifth Avenue. Escalators are used to access the platform from the mezzanine and the lower platform from the upper platform. The station has a hint of refrigerator tile as if they could not decide. It has been renovated. The upper platform is in a tube design. Leaving this station, the F and M trains turn off before we enter the next station and B and D Join the line. The tower on the upper level which controlled this junction has been replaced by Queensboro Master tower.




7th Avenue/ 53rd Street opened on 8/19/1933 and has two tracks and an island platform on each level. The north track serves Eighth Avenue Service (E train) and the South serves Sixth avenue trains (B and D). The south exit leads to Broadway and the North to Seventh Avenue. Trains to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn are on the upper level and trains to upper Manhattan, Bronx and Queens are on the lower level. This station has been renovated and uses panel tile rather than individually set tiles. 




50th Street (on 8th Avenue at 50th Street) has two levels.  The upper level opened on 9/10/1932 and is served by the C train has four tracks and two wall platforms with no crossover or crossunder. Fare control is at platform level. The lower level opened on 8/19/1933 and has two tracks and two wall platforms with a curtain wall separating the tracks, also no crossover or crossunder. The lower level serves the E train. The downtown side has an expanded mezzanine area with exits to West 49th and West 50th Streets, plus two elevators, one from the street level to the mezzanine  and the second from the mezzanine to the upper platform to the lower level E platform.  This mezzanine was redone at the same time when the Worldwide Plaza Complex was constructed. Artwork on the downtown  upper level is by Matt Mulligan and was installed in 1998 and features neighborhood life and is untitled. It is on etched granite. Renovation is planned  and will reopen many closed stairways to the lower level. Downtown has an escalator to the lower level and exits into a building façade. had closed exits at 51st street  and 52nd  Street.  Also, part of the upper level (C train) is slightly to the north of the lower level. 

According to the MTA Web Site "...Matt Mullican, Untitled, 1989.Etched granite mural in entrance, sponsored by New York Communications Center Associates .Artist Matt Mullican created an 8-foot by 68-foot sandblasted black granite mural that presents a time-line of the history of the station site, atop which sits an office tower. (The subway station was rehabilitated in concert with the office development.) Mullican employs an iconographic visual vocabulary through which he reveals the site's past as rural, occupied by a cabin, and as a previous site of Madison Square Garden. Depictions of maps and aerial views are also part of the large mural. Mullican's pictographs reward the repeat visitor with layers of meaning as the piece is viewed again and again. Mullican communicates through a simplified visual system, but his signs provide deeper meaning to those who look.





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





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." 




23rd Street (on 8th Avenue at 23rd street) opened on 9/10/1932 and has four tracks and two wall platforms. There is a closed crossunder at 25th street, the north exit. Two exits at 24th street (one per platform) and an open crossunder on the south end. The station is unrenovated. There are numerous ghost booths at this station.




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




West 4th Street  (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 RockawayC 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




Spring Street opened 9/10/1932 and  has four tracks and two wall platforms. There is a crossunder at the south end and a probable sealed crossunder at the north end. The south exit on both platforms leads to Spring Street. Southbound platform has a center exit to Van Dam Street. Tile evidence suggests a removed north exit on both platforms. 




Canal Street opened 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 .

According to the MTA web Site "...Bronze sculptures on token booth, railings, and beams throughout mezzanine. Walter Martin and Paloma Muńoz 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."




Chambers Street World Trade Center opened 9/10/1932 and is described on the Complexes Page . 



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