Home

NYCT

Staten Island

Port Authority

Commuter Rail

Rail  America

Forms

Contributors 

Links

 

 

 
Herald Square Complex

This complex serves the BMT N/R/Q/W lines with the IND B/D/F and V lines.  In addition, the complex has indoor connections to PATH's 33rd Street station (additional fare required), and Pennsylvania Station is within walking distance from this station.  Other points of interest that is either just outside the station complex or with walking distance are:  Macy's, Manhattan Mall, Empire State Building, and the Garment District.

The complex has a series of passageways, and numerous closed/sealed areas, there are plenty of visible and not-so-visible secrets abound at this complex.  There is also plenty of artwork, including an interactive "hands on" permanent exhibit on the BMT platforms.  The BMT station came first while the IND and the expansion of the north mezzanine at 34th /35th Streets, took place in 1940.  A renovation took place in 1989, which included a new transfer passageway on the south side at 32nd Street.  The renovation also retains almost all of the 1940's IND mosaics tablets along the north mezzanine and concourse areas.  Both stations are express stops, with 4 tracks on 2 island platforms and the complex is fully ADA accessible by exiting/entering the north mezzanine ONLY.  The south mezzanine is not W/C or ADA accessible.

BMT Broadway Line (on Broadway between 34th and 32nd Streets) opened 4/14/1918:  Each platform has 1 staircase to the south mezzanine, and 3 staircases to the north mezzanine.  Unlike the complex maze of the IND, the BMT side is relatively simple, with on mid-concourse levels.  The south end has a P/T booth that leads to Greeley Square and West 32nd St/Broadway, it has 3 street stairs.  There is a passageway outside fare control that leads to the PATH 33rd Street station, and a newly constructed passageway inside fare control that leads to the IND side at West 32nd Street.  Viewing at the PATH end is artwork hanging over the IND south mezzanine "Halo" by Nicholas Pearson (1991) shows different planets in their fixed state.  At the south end, the N/B platform is slightly depressed from the S/B platform; there is also a low overhead ceiling.  This suggests that there may have been a long closed passageway to the north mezzanine area, but it is unconfirmed at this point.  The interactive artwork on both platforms is titled "REACH New York" by artist and composer Christopher Janney (1998).  It is a fascinating display of soothing music and reflective light, there are 8 reflectors facing the express track, and 8 red LED dots facing the local track.  As you raise your hand over one of the reflectors or beams, you "interrupt" the beam, and a musical chime goes off.  Keep waving your hand in rapid succession, and musical chimes, with the pleasant background sounds of animals in a tropical forest, soothe your ears and mind.  While some of the beams are not working, most are and you can have fun playing music and composer while waiting for your train.  The "34" mosaic is retained during the late 1980's renovation and platform extensions are to the north.  The ADA elevators are also at the north end of both platforms.

IND Sixth Avenue Line (On Avenue of Americas between 32nd and 34th Streets) Opened 12/15/1940:  When the IND Sixth Ave line opened, the north mezzanine was expanded along with a complicated array of ramps, staircases, escalators and elevators.  The platforms are the deepest in the entire complex, and have escalators that are being rebuilt; one set of escalators at the south end is being removed and replaced with stairways.  During the 1980's renovation, the walls were covered with modern red and gray "34" mosaics and tile designs, no trace of the orange IND tile band is visible anymore.  The platform has a steep hill at both ends; also the elevators are at the far north end.  The south mezzanine is easy to use; there is a staircase to 6th Ave, and entrance inside Manhattan Mall, and another up staircase to the PATH station.  The north mezzanine is much more complex, all of the staircases lead to a center mezzanine with 2 up ramps, then another 2 up ramps to the north mezzanine.  One ramp leads to the 34th Street side while another other leads to the 35th Street side.  All 4 escalators lead directly from platform level to the mezzanine area.  Artwork on lower concourse level, at north end: "Yab Yum" by David Provan (1992) uses rotating steel objects to create a windmill effect when wind resistance from any N/B train comes into the station.  Each time an N/B train arrives and departs from the station, the wind rotates the shovel-like object is a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion.  Also at the bottom of the concourse level are preserved IND directional tablets on both sides.  At the north mezzanine, a brown brick wall travels along from 34th Street to 35th Street and faces the ramps to concourse level.  This is actually artwork, titled "Radiant Site" by Michelle Oka Doner (1991).  There is an active tower at the far north end of the Uptown platform.

Now the exits and fare control areas at the north mezzanine:

F/T booth is at West side of 34th Street and Broadway; it has 2 street stairs and is the busiest section in the entire complex (it is outside Macy's, of course). Another F/T area is at the south side in front of Manhattan Mall and West 32nd Street/Broadway.  A passageway outside fare control connects theses areas (along with closed areas to be discussed later), along with access to the PATH system.  This area used to be closed during late night, however because of required ADA access; the passageway is open 24/7.

P/T booth areas are the east side of 34th Street and 6th Ave, along with 2 street stairs, and West 35th Street along with street stairs along Broadway and Sixth Avenue.  An outside fare control passageway connects both areas.  One of the IND tablets from the original 1940's opening is preserved at the 35th Street end of this passageway and reads "...to H & M Tunnels", the predecessor to today's PATH system.  The H & M stands for Hudson and Manhattan not the department store of the same, because PATH/H & M trains cross underneath the Hudson River to New Jersey.  

Now for the good stuff, the closed passageways and staircases.  There are numerous of areas inside this complex that were closed over the past 35 years, here are the following and all areas listed below are outside fare control

bullet Passageway from35th Street, under Sixth Ave, to the P/T booth at West 40th Street and Sixth Ave, for a total of 5 blocks and about 0.25 miles.  This includes 2 street stairs at West 38th Street and Sixth Ave that are sealed.  The area was closed immediately in the mid-1980's after a crime occurred inside the passageway.
bulletDirect entrance inside Macy's lower level from the F/T area at West 34th Street and Broadway, it was closed in the early 1970's.
bullet

Direct entrance to the old Korvette's store at West 33rd Street and Sixth Ave. 

bulletDirect indoor passageway from the complex, to Pennsylvania Station, and the IRT West Side subway station.  This area is most likely near the Korvette's exit and has a doorway, it ran underneath West 33rd Street.  It's near the lone Hudson Newsstand (not the Hudson News facing the PATH station, the other one behind it)

 

Walking tour:  Start at the Broadway and West 32nd Street end (by the BMT side a Greeley Square), and use the outside fare control passageway to the PATH area.  Make a right behind the newsstand and walk down the passageway to 34th Street.  Enter the system here and explore the rest of the station.