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       Q Sign

   For photos see www.nycsubway.org

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DITMARS BOULEVARD

 

 

Ditmars Boulevard Astoria (on 31st Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue) opened 7/19/1917 and has two tracks and an island platform. Patriotic art is found outside the system under the Hellgate Viaduct which passes over the station perpendicularly. Canopy covers much of the station, even under the Hellgate Viaduct. The canopy is wood with transite and has a wood mezzanine. The benches are enclosed on three sides with windscreen Light fixtures still have their diffuser covers. At first appearance it seems to be in great condition but closer observation revealed areas needing TLC. The unusual Mezzanine has twin fare controls with separate North and South sets of turnstiles. The line curves and is over 31s street.

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ASTORIA BOULEVARD

HOYT AVENUE

 

 

Astoria Boulevard/ Hoyt Avenue (on 31st Street with exits to Hoyt Avenue North and South and Astoria Boulevard North and South. Hoyt Avenue is the side by the RFK Triborough Bridge) opened 7/19/1917 and has three tracks and two island platforms with wooden canopies with Transite and wood mezzanines. The southbound platform bears the tertiary name of Columbus Square. The Northbound platform’s benches are surrounded by low windscreen on three sides. The southbound platform has an enclosed waiting area. This station affords a view of the Hellgate Bridge and viaduct to the north and the RFK Triborough Bridge to the west and Grand Central Parkway underneath. The bridge and Grand Central Parkway forced a change in the station. The overpass to the far north exit was an addition because of the bridge’s construction in 1936. The parkway forced relocation of the Hoyt Avenue/ Astoria Boulevard North exit stairways since the parkway was too wide for the original stairways. The southern stairways are original. The west exit to the Mezzanine and crossunder needs maintenance- metal patches were observed In the canopy over the stairs. The Mezzanine has an unusual configuration with separate entries with crossunders from both North and South stairs from the platforms.

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30 AVENUE

GRAND AVENUE

 

 

30th Avenue / Grand Avenue (on 31st Street at 30th Avenue) opened 7/19/1917 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with wooden canopies with Transite and wood mezzanines. The south end of both platforms are narrowed due to windscreens being added. The exit is near the north end. There are dual fare control areas and at first appearance give the impression of no crossunder, but there is a crossunder behind the booth.

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BROADWAY

 

 

Broadway (on 31st Street at Broadway) opened 7/19/1917 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with wooden canopies with transite and wood mezzanines. There is no windscreen on the north bound platform however southbound does have windscreen. The Mezzanine is configured like 30th avenue .Exit is north of center.

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36 AVENUE

WASHINGTON AVENUE

 

 

36th Avenue Washington Avenue (on 31st Street at 36th Avenue) opened 7/19/1917 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with wooden canopies with Transite and wood mezzanines. the south end has no windscreen on the northbound platform but the north end has windscreen as does the southbound platform Exit is near the south end and there is a crossunder..

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39  AVENUE

BEEBE AVENUE

 

 

39th Avenue Beebe Avenue (on 31st Street at 39th Avenue) opened 7/19/1917 and has three tracks and two wall platforms with wooden canopies with Transite and wood mezzanines. Windscreen is at both ends replacing the earlier low railings. The south end has a nice view of the Citigroup complex. There is a crossunder.

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QUEENSBORO PLAZA

 

 

Queensboro Plaza (Bridge Plaza North and South between Crescent and 27th Streets, near Queensboro Bridge entrance to lower level) IRT section opened 11/5/1916, BMT section opened 7/19/1917, north Platforms demolished in late 1949, Last renovated in 2003.

This station has a lot of history in it; it is a 100% pure dual contracts station as the only station in the entire NYC subway system to have both IRT #7 Flushing Line and BMT N and Q trains operating on the same platforms. Because of the width of IRT cars being smaller than BMT/IND cars, the N and Q trains are prohibited from switching over to the Flushing Line from Manhattan, even in emergency situations. The current layout is 2 tracks on each island platform, with 2 levels. The #7 line always uses the south tracks, while the N/Q trains use the north tracks on both levels. The lower level is for Manhattan-bound trains, while the Upper level is for Flushing/Astoria (outbound) trains. Recently, the station was renovated by NYCT’s in-house Maintenance of Way forces, as opposed of having an outside contractor perform the job. This site endorses in-house jobs as a means of saving money, using skilled workers already employed by NYCT, and in most cases, the stations are completed on or ahead of the targeted completion date. When the station was fully completed in 1917, there were actually 8 tracks, and 4 island platforms. Standing on the upper level, closest to the Queensboro Bridge side, you can see the skeletal remains of the 2 north platforms that were side-by-side in the same layout as the current and surviving south platforms, it was abandoned in 1949 and all the BMT operations were shifted to the current south platform. The original layout was to use the south platform and 4 tracks for IRT and connections to the 2nd Avenue el. IRT trains ran via. either the Steinway Tube (today’s #7 line), or over the Queensboro Bridge, turn at 2nd Ave/59th St, where it connected with the southbound 2nd Ave el. . Either track had double X crossovers so there was plenty of operational flexibility. At the far west end of the Upper Level, where the #7 curves into the station, you can see the skeletal girders sticking out and pointing to the Upper Level roadway of the bridge. The abandoned north platform was used for primarily BMT Broadway trains and 8 track configurations looked like this (upper level/lower level as it ran):

From north to south: BMT North Platform, Track #1: Astoria/60th St tube BMT North Platform Track #2 Corona/60th St tube. IRT south platform: Track #1 2nd Ave el /Corona, Track #2 Steinway/Corona.

There were double crossovers to the east that allowed trains to use either Astoria or Corona line (the Main St extension was built later on.) Looking also to the east of the station, more skeletal remains of tracks than ran from Astoria to Corona directly, from Astoria, the tracks ran on the outer ends of the current Astoria line, depress significantly, and curve over to the Corona/Flushing line where it would elevate and join the current IRT line. You can see more of these abandoned tracks if you stand on street. Because of the platform layouts, there was most likely a mezzanine, twice the size as the current mezzanine. The 2nd Ave el. was abandoned in 1942 and presented a problem at Queensboro Plaza, where can trains go now, since at least 2 tracks are no longer in use? It was later determined to combine the BMT and IRT tracks in one set of platforms. In 1949, the north platforms were abandoned and the mezzanine was cut in half and renovated.

Before the current renovation took place, the tiles showed evidence of a 1950’s or early 60’s retouch, along with 1950’s exit slam gates. Over the years since the 1949 downsizing, the station fell into disrepair, broken glass on the lower level platform, and leaking platform canopy on the upper level were prime examples. After the 2002 in house renovation, the glass was replaced, the mezzanine was redone, and even new canopies on both overpass exits (one on the north side, leading to couple of stores on the 2nd floor of a private building, the south side was only stairs to street.) were finally installed to protect customers from the rain and arcade stores. The platforms are not aligned together; the Upper level is about 150 feet west of the lower level. Artwork: "Columns" by Sydney Caments. There are 4 stairs from lower to upper level and 4 stairs from lower level to mezzanine. Access from mezzanine to either platform is only available from the 2 western stairs in front of the S/A booth. The 2 eastern stairs from lower level to mezzanine are exit and are only closest to the north bridge (2000), uses silk-screened glass panels, instead of ordinary glass, installed on both sides of the lower level. Most people who look at the glass design may not really notice that it is artwork. Just inside fare control, are the newest next train indicators, one for the #7 and the other for the N/W lines. During rush hours when all 3 lines have frequent service, the buzzers are constantly going off .

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LEXINGTON AVENUE

59 STREET

 

 

Lexington Avenue/59th Street opened 3/11/1920 and is discussed on the complexes page

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5  AVENUE

59 STREET

 

 

5th Avenue 59th Street (5th Ave at 60th Street) Opened 3/11/1920: In house renovation, 2 tracks, 2 side platforms, and 2 mezzanine areas. The renovation not only finally gets rid of the 60’s refrigerator tile, but preserves the original station name tablets. Most of the local stations along the Broadway line within the past 10 years, were renovated in this manner, and shows how a mix of nostalgia with contemporary design shows a true winner in station design. F/T side at north end by 60th Street has 3 street stairs, one carved into the outer perimeter of Central Park, other 2 staircases are across 5th Ave. Replicas of BMT directional mosaics "QUEENS TRAINS" and "BROOKLYN TRAINS" are found on F/T side. P/T side at Central Park South, just by Plaza Hotel, has ghost booth (closed in 2003), and 3 street stairs as well. Each mezzanine has 1 stair to each platform. Mosaics "5" "Fifth Ave" and the directional signs on each platform, are fully preserved with new tiles encircling around them. Artwork: "Urban Oasis" by Ann Schaumburger (1997), uses glass mosaic murals to depict a family of penguins, and reminds us of our childhood days when we visited the nearby Central Park Zoo. (I sure do remember being inside the mouth of a whale statue at the zoo years ago!)

 

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57  STREET

7 AVENUE

 

 

57th Street/ 7th Avenue Opened 7/10/1919 Express stop, 4 tracks, 2 island platforms, 2 mezzanines (no full length mezzanine was ever constructed), it was renovated in-house in 1999. This station sits outside Carnegie Hall, and has names of legendary artists and actors/actresses who performed in any capacity at the landmark building upstairs, one name and the year of appearance at Carnegie Hall, is shown on each tile. F/T mezzanine is at 57th Street, P/T mezzanine is at 55th Street and is closed nightly and Sunday until 2 PM. Each mezzanine has 4 street stairs. The "57" mosaics on both track walls is preserved and not covered. An active tower is at the south end of the southbound platform.

According to the MTA Web Site "...Josh Scharf. Carnegie Hall Montage, 1994.Ceramic tiles on north and south mezzanine walls; porcelain enamel on north mezzanine walls. Carnegie Hall Montage is a colorful arrangement of images in porcelain on steel that shows the range of artists who have performed on the world-renowned stage. Some depict Carnegie Hall's classical pedigree, such as Leonard Bernstein and Marian Anderson, for example, while others portray the Beatles, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt, as testament to the importance of the stage. Nearby, hundreds of white tiles with text commemorate the names, professions, and appearance date of notables who graced Carnegie's stage. In the words of Carnegie Hall activist Gino Francesconi: "I have always felt that the subway station directly below Carnegie Hall should reflect the history of the building just as the subways of Moscow and Paris do their own cultural institutions ... It reminds one of the connection between the city and its art."

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42 STREET

TIMES SQUARE

 

 

42nd Street Times Square is discussed on the complexes page

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34  STREET

HERALD SQUARE

 

 

34th Street Herald Square is discussed on the complexes page

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14 STREET

UNION SQUARE

 

 

14th Street Union Square is discussed on the complexes page

Before we descend to the lower level at Canal Street and making a left turn a process, we see a bellmouth inward on the right side. This area was an aborted attempt to have the BRT proposed the bridge line to run across Canal Street and possibly across the Hudson River to New Jersey as well. It may have also intended to run along a line extension up the far west side of Manhattan (a 9th Avenue subway Line?), but it is unclear where the line would ultimately end. We do know that the area north of Canal Street, and seen from either platform, would be 2 tracks running across Canal Street

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CANAL  STREET

 

 

Canal Street is discussed on the complexes page

Leaving Canal Street, but before entering the Manhattan bridge south side. we see a bellmouth inward. This area was a reconfiguration of the switches and tracks in this area. The bellmouth inward represents the Nassau Street Loop which ran from Chambers Street as part of a special loop during the rush hours from the Brighton Line. Before 1967 and the birth of the Chrystie Connection, the N and Q trains would have used the north side of the bridge while the Nassau Loop Specials used the south side. The Nassau Loop Connection was severed during the Chrystie Connection process and a new track from Canal Street was installed to enable trains running on the south side. We now cross the Manhattan bridge.

As we descend into the tunnel again at  the Brooklyn side, we bypass what was once Myrtle Avenue Station which opened 9/13/1915 and closed 7/12/1956. It was a local stop wit two side platforms and only two tracks served, however there were a total of six tracks  of which four bypassed the station. BMT Myrtle Avenue mosaic on the wall is still  present. Northbound side is left intact but the Southbound platform was removed when the gold Street interlocking was reconfigured. From the Broadway Line, traveling down , the track that currently depressed down and joins back up for either bypass or regular DeKalb switching was actually the original track and not depressed, while the track to the right which is used by the Q train was where the platform was located. On 7/12/1956 this station was closed in anticipation of DeKalb expansion. The switches were reconfigured  in 1956-1957. In the late 1970s or early 1980s along the intact northbound platform, a psychedelic set of frames was installed to appear that a short film was in motion while you were on the train and moving. The last set of frames showed a small rocket ship taking off in time to avoid impact with a much larger ship. Over time,  graffiti took its toll on this artwork and the  area is permanently covered and sealed today.

Brooklyn Tile Band

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DEKALB AVENUE

 

 

DeKalb Avenue (DeKalb Ave and Flatbush Ave Extension) Opened 1/15/1915 Realignment in 1957   This station is currently undergoing renovation as a joint venture by Gottleib/Skanska/Slattery.  It has some of the most beautiful replicas of original BMT Mosaics.  Station is six tracks, 2 island platforms,  3 fare control areas, and 5 stairs to each platform.  The outermost tracks are called "Bridge" tracks because they run to/from the Manhattan Bridge and are used primarily for B and Q trains.  The next 2 tracks are called "Tunnel" tracks for they operate to/from the Montague tunnel.  Rush hour M, all day R, and late night N trains use these tunnel tracks.  The middle 2 tracks bypass this station, they both operate to/from the Bridge, N and D trains use them to bypass DeKalb (except late nights where they stop at DeKalb), hence the term “DeKalb bypass” 

Here are the facts on these 6 tracks: 

A Manhattan-bound train coming into the station must use the Bridge or tunnel route, they cannot switch routes once they arrive in the station.  So the Bridge side is the "local side" while the tunnel is the express side. 

A Brooklyn-bound train entering DeKalb bypass from the bridge, cannot access the Brighton line, the train is forced to use the 4th Ave express tracks.  This rule also applies for Manhattan-bound travel as Brighton line trains cannot use the DeKalb bypass. 

Prior to the 1956-57 reconfiguration, things were quite different.  A Manhattan-bound train could use either track in the station, and when leaving, can use the diamond “X” crossover switches just north of the station.  Even DeKalb bypass had a switch to the Montague tunnel track, the area by the north where there was no wall separating the bypass track and tunnel track, was the location of the switch (Ever wondered why the wall at DeKalb Ave falls short of the entire length of the old platform BEFORE the north extension?).  Now with the ongoing renovation, this area now has a wall to match with the rest of the existing wall on the tunnel side.  Southbound from Bridge or Tunnel is essentially the same, with the X crossover before entering DeKalb and the lone switch from tunnel to DeKalb bypass can be made.  The platform was curved to the south, the same area that is currently abandoned before the Brighton/4th Ave split is still there.  The switches to/from Brighton and DeKalb were slightly further to the south.  This accounts why on the Bridge side, that B and Q trains have a slight S curve in both directions between DeKalb and Atlantic Ave stations. In June, 1957, the curved southern portion of DeKalb Ave was closed and abandoned in favor of a straight platform to the north, and the current setup of switches are in place.  This included the removal of the X crossover switches just north of DeKalb Ave.  The north platform extension was built sometime in the 1960’s. 

The Full time booth is at the south end by DeKalb Ave and features artwork .  The middle  staircase is a crossover, as during the renovation one staircase is removed. At the middle crossover area there is a sealed exit only to the outside of a bank building. This exit was originally closed until the first stage of the recent renovation reopened this exit. The exit is now sealed again, and has the original BMT tile and mosaics, not the replicas that dot the rest of this station (although the replica mosaics are outstanding.)    These stairs were used to be connected to the full time side until installation and expansion of the DeKalb Ave tower and other RTO facilities took place, so it was a full passageway.  During the 1960's platform extensions (to conform with IND train lengths once Chrystie was completed), the platforms were extended to the north and a new P/T fare control area was installed.  The last bits of evidence of the platform extension of 60's wall tile bands in the same design as Grand Street on the bridge side, however they are being covered with the retro BMT look.  The tunnel tracks depress slightly in relation to the other 4 tracks at the north end where the extension was built.  The DEKALB AVE and BMT mosaics are near identical replicas, additional extra large diamond and "X" mosaics are installed on the F/T mezzanine walls.  Elevator to street is  on the Southweest corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues.  As built it was a local stop for the Fourth Avenue Local (As evidenced in the Booths being prefaced by the letter "C".) When the Brighton Line was extended from Prospect Park the current track against the wall (Bridge Tracks) was added via the wall being pushed back.

After leaving DeKalb Ave, we break away to the right on the first diverging switch and head to Atlantic Ave, we travel underneath Ashland Place.  There was speculation that the IND's second system had plans on the drawing boards to connect the BMT with the IND's Fulton St and Crosstown lines.  Called the Ashland Place connection, it never materialized past the drawing board.  No evidence of any odd track walls "breaking off" from the main line exist in this area from either direction traveled on this line. 

According to the MTA Web Site "...Stephen Johnson-DeKalb Improvisation, 2005.Glass mosaic on mezzanine walls. Stephen Johnson describes his mosaic mural and his inspiration for the energy it conveys: "My idea for these murals is to convey a sense of joy through an exuberant juxtaposition of colors, shapes, and familiar images. ... On the surface, the variety of colors and shapes in the mosaics resemble collages and invite the traveler to consider the multiple layers of images found on city walls, particularly in the subway, where posters may tear, revealing previous images and forming exciting compositions....The glass is as diverse as the station's passengers, whose ethnic origins stem from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. ... I wanted the abstract design to be balanced with realistic images that people can instantly get." The work brings vibrancy and texture to the station environment.

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ATLANTIC AVENUE BARCLAYS CENTER

 

 

Atlantic Avenue Barclays Center is discussed in the complexes page.

After leaving Atlantic Ave, we break away to the right on the first diverging switch and head to Atlantic Ave, we travel underneath Ashland Place.  There was speculation that the IND's second system had plans on the drawing boards to connect the BMT with the IND's Fulton St and Crosstown lines.  Called the Ashland Place connection, it never materialized past the drawing board.  No evidence of any odd track walls "breaking off" from the main line exist in this area from either direction traveled on this line. 

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7  AVENUE

 

 

 

7th Avenue (On Flatbush Ave Extension and /Park Pl) Opened 8/1/1920 Station has 2 tracks, 2 side platforms, 2 open stairs from mezzanine (crossover is allowed), and 3 street stairs.  The 2 closed staircases at the south end are still standing, there used to be a full length mezzanine as you can see from look up at the side walls above you.  This station is another location of pure evidence of "Dual Contracts", the line shares space with the IRT along the same street.  IRT local tracks are behind both station walls and run alongside the same level as us.  IRT express tracks run directly below us.  Platform extensions took place on both ends, as evident is the differences of tile formations.  Despite the stations age (over 84 years) the original "7" and "7th Avenue" tiles are in excellent shape.  An emergency exit lies at the south end of the Southbound platform, while you can stand at the far north end of the Northbound platform and face the tunnel on the Southbound track wall side.  You will actually see IRT outbound local trains through this tunnel.

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PROSPECT PARK

 

 

Prospect Park (Midpoint between Flatbush and Ocean Avenues and south of Lincoln Road.) Opened 8/1/1920 This station is fully ADA accessible and features a transfer to the Franklin Ave Shuttle line. It is the first open-cut station on the Brighton line as the north end is tunneled, while the center and south ends are open-cut design. Full time booth is at south side of Lincoln Road and features new elevators installed in 2002 (the renovation of this station was done 8 years before the elevator installations). Part-time booth is on Flatbush Ave and across from Empire Blvd. The entrance at this side features mosaics of animal drawings, in recognition of the nearby Prospect Park Zoo. The emergency exit opposite the only staircase, is actually a set of closed staircases that were open prior to the 1994 renovation. Prior to the station upgrade to ADA access, the Full time and Part time booths were switched, Full time side was at Empire/Flatbush and Part time side was at Lincoln. This change was required because the elevators were being installed at Lincoln Road and ADA regulations mandated 24/7 access at this entrance. Artwork "Brighton Clay Re-Leaf #1 and #2 (#3 is at Parkside Ave mezzanine) features ceramic mosaics and friezes of different colored "clay" leaves to commemorate the park leaves of the same name nearby. Although the station has 4 tracks on 2 island platforms, only 3 of the 4 tracks are in active revenue use. The "express" tracks are for B and Q trains, the Shuttle uses 2 car sets and operates near the north end of the Manhattan-bound local wall track. The Coney-Island bound wall track is only used for spare shuttle train sets laying up there. North of this track lies the worst NYC subway disaster and is called the Malbone Street disaster. At that time, the Brighton line ran alongside the shuttle route toward the Fulton Street El. There used to be a tower at the far south end of the Manhattan bound platform, express side (underneath Lincoln Road), this tower was closed and converted to a RTO crew facility when the Brighton Line’s signal system was replaced from Atlantic Ave to Kings Highway in 1990.

On 11/1/1918, during the first strike against Brooklyn Rapid Transit, (the precursor to today’s BMT lines) an inexperienced motorman named Anthony Lewis (ironically his last name was also known as Luciano or the reference to Satan), was on the controls of a 5 car BMT wooden gate car set from Park Row to Coney Island during the evening rush. He was one of the operator replacements during the operator’s strike, and the problem was further exacerbated by his lack of knowledge along this line. After leaving Park Place station in Brooklyn, he was taking the train at full speed. Mr. Luciano went so fast, that he skipped Consumers Park station and eventually slammed into a curve inside the tunnel just north of Prospect Park station. The curve is similar in design to the "horseshoe" curve on the IRT 5 line just south of 149th Street/Grand Concourse station and is regulated at less than 10 MPH. BRT gate cars #80, 100, 725, 726, and 1064 were literally destroyed by the impact of the steel tunnel at the curve, as 97 people died and over 100 more were injured, many of them seriously. The accident has so many repercussions; massive legal tort claims against the BRT forced them into bankruptcy; which later was reorganized as the BMT in 1923. The street, Malbone Street, was renamed into today’s Empire Boulevard, however, a ½ block section off of New York Ave still remains. The design of new cars required steel components, not wooden components (The D-Type Triplex units were introduced in 1923-24 with the steel materials), and Mr. Luciano, as well as other indicted BRT bosses, were acquitted of all the manslaughter indictments against them a year after the accident.

According to the MTA Web Site "For both the Prospect Park and Parkside Avenue stations, Susan Tunick created intricate, multicolored ceramic mosaic murals and borders. These 1919 stations, with station booths and turnstiles located in above-ground "headhouses," feature wall tiles and decorative borders influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. Tunick's art celebrates the vintage ceramic ornamentation of the station and is inspired by her fascination with terra cotta and her childhood memories of nearby Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Tunick says her works for the sites, collectively titled Brighton Clay Re-Leaf, Nos.1-4, balance her respect for the stations' "ceramic history," her recollection of the colors and shapes of the foliage in the park and garden, and her desire to add eye-catching modern design, which is achieved in her use of bold color, pattern, and texture in the tiles

We leave Prospect Park and are treated to a nice mix of open cut, embankment, and elevated sections of the Brighton Line. 

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PARKSIDE AVENUE

 

 

Parkside Avenue (Parkside Ave at Ocean Avenue) opened 8/23/1907 Local stop, 4 tracks, and 2 side platforms. Original name was Woodruff Ave, where the original entrance was actually one block to the south of the current Parkside Ave station house from 1907 to 1920, and was a 2 track line until around 1918. The southbound side at Woodruff Ave is now exit only. The northbound side is sealed with a locked facility of unknown nature; I have never seen anyone actually use this storage area (?). The station sits in an open cut section with approx 65% of the station underground. The open cut has a nice curve, and the 1964-65 platform extensions are clearly to the north, the southbound side has no canopy and appears "incomplete", while the differences in the platform style are apparent in the N/B side, along with a small canopy dug inward. Throughout our run, you will see evidence at almost all stations along the Brighton Line, as well as in Manhattan. From 1962 to 1964, the platforms were extended from 8 car lengths and 480 feet to the current 10 car lengths and 600 feet today.  This was done in anticipation of the IND 6th Ave system coming to the Brighton line on 11/27/1967, via the newly built Chrystie St connection.  In 1962, for example, Brighton Express service was temporarily suspended and skip-stop service along the express tracks was instituted while work was being done on the local platforms.  To accomplish the skip-stops service, temporarily platforms were installed over the local tracks at all local stations.  The renovation restored the windows at the mezzanine facing the N/B open air space and made the area more spacious. Recently a station facility was added inside the stationhouse, cutting off only about 15% of square footage. Artwork is the same as Prospect Park. The platform signage has a nice soft touch of tiles and contemporary mosaics. It can also be found at Beverley and Cortelyou Road stations. Colors are beige and red.

According to the MTA Web Site "For both the Prospect Park and Parkside Avenue stations, Susan Tunick created intricate, multicolored ceramic mosaic murals and borders. These 1919 stations, with station booths and turnstiles located in above-ground "headhouses," feature wall tiles and decorative borders influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. Tunick's art celebrates the vintage ceramic ornamentation of the station and is inspired by her fascination with terra cotta and her childhood memories of nearby Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Tunick says her works for the sites, collectively titled Brighton Clay Re-Leaf, Nos.1-4, balance her respect for the stations' "ceramic history," her recollection of the colors and shapes of the foliage in the park and garden, and her desire to add eye-catching modern design, which is achieved in her use of bold color, pattern, and texture in the tiles

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CHURCH AVENUE

 

 

Church Avenue (Church Ave and East 18th St) Opened 8/23/1907 Station is open cut with tunnels at both ends, 4 tracks, 2 island platforms, 2 staircases; 1 to each stationhouse at both ends. Originally 2 tracks and 1 entrance, the Brighton line expanded to 4 tracks. It was one of the first stations in the entire system to be renovated and has no artwork. Full time side is at Church Ave at south end; the original stationhouse was demolished and replaced with new house having no character. Plain white tiles dot the current interior and exterior of this entrance. There are restrooms inside fare control to the right side. The Part time side is at the North end by Caton Ave and St. Pauls Place, the stationhouse’s exterior was preserved at least. This side originally had a Part time booth during the morning rush and had iron maiden entrance all other times. After the 1980’s renovation, the station was converted to booth operations from 7 AM to 10 PM, 7 days a week. All of the platform columns were covered with steel supports during the renovation. Southbound side by conductors’ position at midpoint has abandoned exit to East 18th Street, between Church and Caton Avenues. The exterior of the house was made with brick and stucco, suggesting that it was added to the existing station sometime in the 1960’s or early 70’s. The boarded up staircase still stands. Leaving Church Ave, about 150 feet to the south we see a clear difference in the concrete wall on both sides, at this exact point is where the Brighton line was converted from 2 tracks to 4 tracks. Recall how the original Brighton line ROW as first opened in 1907 it ran 2 tracks from Church Ave, to Prospect Park, and then along the current 2 track Franklin Ave Shuttle. South of this point the Brighton line opened up to 4 tracks and was express from Church Ave to Kings Highway. After the 1920 realignment of the Brighton line, which permitted direct thru access over the Manhattan Bridge, the entire line is now the present 4 track configuration to Brighton Beach.

As we leave Church Avenue, we go through a min-tunnel before seeing daylight again. The walls of the open cut area are different about 200 feet down, with an abandoned pedestrian overpass at Albemarle Road is still present.

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BEVERLEY ROAD

 

 

Beverley Road Beverley Road between East 15th and 16th Streets) opened 8/23/1907 Station is spelled BeverLEY Road; the IRT counterpart at Nostrand Ave is spelled BeverLY Road. There are arguments for both spellings and this site will not use our bandwidth arguing over the name issue. Local stop, 4 tracks and 2 side platforms, a nice restored early 1900’s station house with fluorescent bulbs is the focus of the early 1990’s in-house renovation. Sitting on the open cut portion of the Brighton Line, another gentle curve to the right is at the far north end, along with platform extensions clearly visible, allowing plenty of train watching from Church Ave to Newkirk Ave. The stationhouse features artwork "Garden Stops" (1994) by Patsy Norvell which has etched images of leaves on the glass windows facing the south and inside fare control. The artwork can be seen from both inside the mezzanine and while standing on either platform to the south of the mezzanine. A very intriguing secret of this station is the emergency exit on the southbound platform; a small ladder leads to a manhole cover at sidewalk level across the street from the stationhouse. Colors at this station are green and beige.

Between Beverley and Cortelyou Road stations is the shortest distance in the entire NYCT system. At 0.28 miles and less than 600 feet between platforms, it is possible for a full length train to successfully use both platforms for an emergency exit. The first car would be on one station, while the last car would be on the other station, although only the end doors would be platformed.

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CORTELYOU ROAD

 

 

Cortelyou Road (Cortelyou Road between East 15th and 16th Streets) opened 8/23/1907 You could say that Beverley and Cortelyou Road stations are like sisters, they are. The station layout, stationhouse, even the "emergency exit" secret are both the same. However the only differences are the following: Cortelyou Road has blue columns, while Beverley Road is green, there is a signal house on the north end, that replicates the stationhouse across the street, however it is for NYCT use only, and finally the location of the stationhouse in relation to the platforms, is slightly to the north than the same location at Beverley Road.

Although there are no traces of a tunnel dug just north of Newkirk Avenue, there was a proposal in 1949 by the NYC Board of Transportation (before the creation of the new York City Transit Authority) to connect the Brighton Line with the IND portion of the Culver Line from Church Avenue North via a two track connection running underground on Ditmas Avenue. Since construction of this line would require the acquiring of the ROW of townhouses and estates on Ditmas Avenue was shelved.
(SOURCE:
www.thejoekorner.quuxuum.org/bdoft1949/2av-482.gif)

The stations from here to and including Kings Highway have  renovated by Granite Construction Northeast.  

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NEWKIRK AVENUE

 

 

Newkirk Avenue (Newkirk Plaza, East 16th Street between Newkirk and Foster Avenues) opened 8/23/1907 This station sits in the middle of an outdoor pedestrian mall, the station was renovated in 1986, while the mall sidewalks were renovated in Spring 2004. A few of the stores along the mall are still in existence for nearly 90 years; one of them, a hardware store pre-dates the opening of the current Brighton Line. Standing at any point inside the mall, you can see and imagine where the original Brighton line ran at grade level, before the 1907 reconfiguration. A 1907 plaque facing the east stationhouse wall commemorates the origin of the BRT’s roots as a rapid transit company and is titled "The Depression and Elevation of Grade Crossings…" supports further evidence of this. Station is 4 tracks along 2 island platforms, open cut configuration, and restored 1907 stationhouse (thankfully). The interior is modern, while the exterior is preserved as much as possible, including the bronze plaque. Artwork: "Transit Skylight" (1988) by David Wilson, uses Zinc-glazed polycarbonate to create geometrical design of squares fitted into a triangular window, and allowing natural sunlight to beam down inside the stationhouse. It is located in the rear of the mezzanine, behind a trio of benches. In the wintertime, there are heaters behind the benches for added comfort. On the platform, the extension appears to the north, while aluminum beams on the platform ceiling were removed in the late 1990’s because it posed a safety hazard to customers. Some TLC is needed on the station platform. Directional sign to Foster Ave and a bus symbol are present in the station. This lighted sign was added during the 1980’s renovation to quickly identify the location of the B8 bus line, which stops at the Foster Ave side of the Plaza.

According to the MTA Web Site "...David Wilson- Transit Skylight, 1988,. Zinc-glazed polycarbonate skylight .David Wilson's skylight fills the waiting area of this Brooklyn subway station with bright, clear light. The panels are framed in blue and the pattern in the panes consists of black lines and solid panels in geometric form, that echoes the aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement and leaded glass work from that era, but with a more contemporary interpretation. In Wilson's words, "I had been interested in the use of plastics and the possibility of "leadlines" that are not feasible in glass - thus the diagonal "cuts" going to nowhere in the piece (i.e. stopping in the middle of a color). The project is a kind of architectural statement - a skylight set into a difficult environment (a steel I-beam divides the triangular window into two halves so that it is hard to read as a whole)."

Leaving Newkirk Ave, we rise above ground where it becomes the embankment portion of the Brighton Line. Until the 1920’s the Brighton shared space with the South Brooklyn Railway that ran to the east of the current Brighton from south of Avenue H and provided service to Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay. There are still some footprints of this abandoned line in various parts of the Brighton,  

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AVENUE H

 

 

Avenue H (Avenue H at East 16th Street) Opened 8/23/1907 A grand stationhouse, and is really the flagship stop for the Brighton Line. The original building was first a real estate office for Thomas Benton Ackerson, a real estate mogul in 1906, and a fixture for Brooklyn in the turn of the century. The Brighton line was running at grade at that time, since the 1880’s it was under the auspices of the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island railroad. The building was sold to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit in 1907, and an embankment station opened. It is unique in its character as the city’s only shingled wooden cottage-turned transit station facility. The elements of stationhouse are preserved (the chimney, and the radiator inside fare control.). NYCT was planning to demolish this structure during the upcoming 2005 renovations being planned, because the wooden elements of the stationhouse posed a significant fire risk. However, the fate of the stationhouse was sealed for the good side, when on June 29, 2004, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Avenue H stationhouse (not the rest of the station), as a New York City landmark. Therefore, NYCT must preserve the Avenue H stationhouse, and any alterations to the stationhouse must be approved by the NYC LPC in advance. The rest of the station, including platforms, underpass, and staircases can be demolished and rebuilt during the renovation. The stationhouse sits at the S/W corner and has an adjoining business next door. The platform height is only 15 feet above sidewalk level and has a sidewalk underpass, both inside and outside fare control, the structure is too low for vehicles to run underneath the Brighton Line. When the MetroCard Vending Machine was installed at this station, the turnstiles were moved forward to the doorway inside the stationhouse. After entering fare control, you can go upstairs for the Manhattan-bound side, or use the underpass for the Coney Island bound side (each side has 1 stair to each platform.), a signal house sits to the left as you walk upstairs to the Manhattan-bound platform. Also on the Coney Island bound side is an exit only staircase to East 15th Street and Avenue H, the appearance of this staircase looks like it was added sometime after the 1907 station opening. The platform extensions are clearly to the south end and extend over the South Brooklyn Railway freight line. This line (under LIRR control) had a separate ROW that ran south of this station, to Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach (in it’s heyday in the early 1900’s there was a racetrack in Manhattan Beach.) Because of the high corrugated fencing, I was unable to see any traces of the turn off from the ROW. However the good news is while we travel from here to Sheepshead Bay, we see plenty of evidence of the LIRR Bay Ridge line, including an abandoned station and several traces of the extended ROW. The line was 2 tracks running alongside the east side (Manhattan-bound side of today’s Brighton Line), and was partially lower in height than the elevation of the Brighton Line. It ran down to Manhattan Beach, with stations at Kings Highway, Neck Road (still present), and Sheepshead Bay, before veering off to Manhattan Beach. This area connected with the LIRR Bay Ridge (present ROW to the tracks alongside the Sea Beach line), or East New York (alongside today’s RR ROW to the L line at Van Sinderen Ave). In a twist of irony or fate, a street in Manhattan Beach (Corbin Place) near Oriental Blvd, was named in memory of Austin Corbin, who bought the Manhattan Beach freight RR and converted it into a passenger line. For more detailed information about the Manhattan Beach RR, please see the LIRR history page. Artwork is by Ed Kopel and is entitled Brooklyn Bucolic, 2012. It is Cast bronze

The landmarked Station House at Avenue H in Midwood, Brooklyn was originally built at the turn of the century as a real estate office for the surrounding community of Fiske Terrace, an early example of planned suburban development and a neighborhood which is graced by well-kept homes and landscaped streets. When the station was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2004, the Commission wrote that Avenue H is “the city’s only shingled wooden cottage turned transit station house". To celebrate this uniquely charming site, artist Ed Kopel animates the exterior of the building with his new piece, Brooklyn Bucolic, transforming an unused colonnade into an active community porch.

The artwork, along the north and east façades of the Station House, consists of casual groupings of cast bronze rocking chairs, anchored in place. The chairs are modeled upon rockers produced by the Shaker Community in Mount Lebanon, New York during last quarter of the 19th Century and the first quarter of the 20th – a timeframe contemporaneous with the development of Fiske Terrace from the establishment of the Brighton Line in 1878 to the completion of home construction in the 1920’s. Each has a unique patina treatment to make them more inviting and appropriate to a cozy porch setting.

The chairs vary in size accommodating a variety of users and suggesting a dialogue among them. Each chair, though similar in style to one another, is subtly different with a variety of weaves, colors and patterns. The colors of the rocking chairs recall and harmonize with the decorative hues of the surrounding Queen Anne and Colonial houses. Brooklyn Bucolic is, in part, an effort to recall the graciousness of front-porch society from days gone by. The chairs were fabricated by JP Parnas Woodworking and Polich Tallix.

the graciousness of front-porch society from days gone by. The chairs were fabricated by JP Parnas Woodworking and Polich Tallix.

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AVENUE J

 

 

Avenue J (Avenue J between East 15th and 16th Streets) opened 8/23/1907 Local stop, 4 tracks and 2 side platforms. The mezzanine is on the south side of Avenue J, while an abandoned staircase from the S/B side leads to street level across the street from the current street-level mezzanine. The area at the top of the closed staircase is laden with plants. Platform extensions are to the north end on both sides, note the underside of the platform floor from where you are standing on the opposite platform, a steel railing is found on the Coney Island bound side. Each platform has 2 staircases to mezzanine; one of the Coney Island staircases is double width with an alternate high wheel exit to street .Artwork is by Rita MacDonald and is entitled Bird Laid Bare, 2011. It is  Glass mosaic and tile

Artist Rita MacDonald works with everyday patterns in much of her work, manipulating and enlarging the shapes to fit architectural spaces in her installations and painstakingly rendering each line in her prints. Often her patterns are based upon fabrics from old clothes or well-worn curtains. In her two-station project on the Brighton Line, she puts these practices to good use, creating a trompe l'oiel effect in which the tile wall is folded back like a curtain to reveal a vintage wallpaper-like pattern behind. The fabricator, Miotto Mosaics, faced a challenging technical puzzle of trimming rectangular tiles to resemble an unfurling form so that it seem as though an invisible hand has peeled back a layer of the wall.

MacDonald wanted to create the effect of a remodeling in progress, honoring the station rehabilitation process, and created an updated craftsman-era pattern that references the historic homes in the Midwood community. In her words, "The revealed pattern is a decidedly more pastoral pattern - inspired in color, form, and design both by the residential nature of the neighboring streets and by pattern design from the beginning of the twentieth century, the time at which the station was originally built. I'm interested in the intersection of these two patterns as a metaphor for the idea that architecture and space can be holders of our collective memory."

Avenues J and M share this metaphoric motif. Avenue M features a rabbit design with rabbits leaping from the wall and hopping along the station stairs. Avenue J depicts birds who fan out from the pattered wall and seem to fly throughout the station. The creatures appear to have escaped from the old- fashioned wall pattern of the past to join us here in the present day station. The birds and rabbits add a sense of whimsy while at the same time engaging people who use their own forms of transportation. In an inspired flight of fancy, the animals travel to the neighboring stations: a bird is seen mixing it up with the rabbits at Avenue M and at Avenue J, a rabbit hops over to visit with the birds.

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AVENUE M

 

 

Avenue M Avenue M between East 15th and 16th Streets) opened 8/23/1907 Same setup at Avenue M, there is a closed staircase at S/B side, across the street from the active street level mezzanine. The prominence of this station in any photograph to identify is a smokestack to the north of the station and on the Coney Island bound side. Edward R. Murrow high school is on the opposite side of the smokestack. The platform extensions are on the north side and the Manhattan bound platform appears to be slightly narrower than the Coney Island bound platform. Avenue M was host to a nearby movie studio which produced some films in the area. For more information please see Larry Fendrick’s subway.com ru web site. Artwork is by Rita MacDonald and is entitled Hare Apparent, 2011. It is Glass mosaic and tile

Artist Rita MacDonald works with everyday patterns in much of her work, manipulating and enlarging the shapes to fit architectural spaces in her installations and painstakingly rendering each line in her prints. Often her patterns are based upon fabrics from old clothes or well-worn curtains. In her two-station project on the Brighton Line, she puts these practices to good use, creating a trompe l'oiel effect in which the tile wall is folded back like a curtain to reveal a vintage wallpaper-like pattern behind. The fabricator, Miotto Mosaics, faced a challenging technical puzzle of trimming rectangular tiles to resemble an unfurling form so that it seem as though an invisible hand has peeled back a layer of the wall.

MacDonald wanted to create the effect of a remodeling in progress, honoring the station rehabilitation process, and created an updated craftsman-era pattern that references the historic homes in the Midwood community. In her words, "The revealed pattern is a decidedly more pastoral pattern - inspired in color, form, and design both by the residential nature of the neighboring streets and by pattern design from the beginning of the twentieth century, the time at which the station was originally built. I'm interested in the intersection of these two patterns as a metaphor for the idea that architecture and space can be holders of our collective memory."

Avenues J and M share this metaphoric motif. Avenue M features a rabbit design with rabbits leaping from the wall and hopping along the station stairs. Avenue J depicts birds who fan out from the pattered wall and seem to fly throughout the station. The creatures appear to have escaped from the old- fashioned wall pattern of the past to join us here in the present day station. The birds and rabbits add a sense of whimsy while at the same time engaging people who use their own forms of transportation. In an inspired flight of fancy, the animals travel to the neighboring stations: a bird is seen mixing it up with the rabbits at Avenue M and at Avenue J, a rabbit hops over to visit with the birds. 

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KINGS HIGHWAY

 

 

Kings Highway (Kings Highway and East 16th Street) Opened 8/23/1907 Express stop, 4 tracks, 2 island platforms on embankment, the station was renovated in the late 1980’s. There are 5 staircases on each platform, leading to 3 fare control areas, at street level. From north to south, the staircase locations are as follows: 1 staircase to N/S Kings Highway is 24/7 HEET access and ghost booth, the booth was closed in 2003. 2nd and 3rd staircases leads to Full time booth at the South side of Kings Highway, there is an exit only wheel, next to the mezzanine area for easier exit from S/B platform. The 4th and 5th staircases lead to Quentin Road and East 16th St, it is open weekdays only. The Quentin Road mezzanine is interesting because the tiles and signs are 1950’s or 60’s style, suggesting the growth of Kings Highway mandated a 3rd exit built at this station. Further confirmation of the newest entrance is the word "SUBWAY" used outside and to the sides, if it was an original entrance, the "BMT lines" would be used instead. Similar use of the word "Subway" is Rockaway Park  and Broad Channel stations (see H shuttle), while the Rockaway line was converted from LIRR to IND use in 1956. The yellow tiles are similar to the additional north entrance at DeKalb, this time they are yellow, and were left unchanged during the 1980’s renovation; other 2 mezzanines are fully renovated. Platform extensions are clearly to the north, you can see a "break" on the platform floors (steel plates are present) and the difference underneath the platform. Artwork at both Kings Highway mezzanines: "Kings Highway Hieroglyphs" (1987) by Rhoda Andors, made of porcelain enamel, details the people and trains at the station entrances. Both sets are the same inside fare control. During the 1990’s signal replacement on the Brighton Line, a new signal electrical tower was installed over the express tracks at the south end. The old tower about 150 feet south of this station and facing the South bound local track, is abandoned in favor of the new DeKalb master tower, which controls the interlocking switches and signals in this area. 

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AVENUE U

 

 

Avenue U (Avenue U between East 15th and East 16th Streets) opened 8/23/1907 Local stop, 4 tracks and 2 side platforms. The mezzanine is on the north side this time, while the closed staircase is on the south side of the Coney Island-bound platform. A high wheel exit replaces the gate that allowed PM rush hour crowds to exit the station more easily. This exit was manned during this time, until the replacement of the high-wheel. This is the busiest local stop on the Brighton line, and has seen tremendous growth in the 70’s and 80’s. In fact at one point in the late 1980’s, a second booth was inside the same mezzanine and was across the F/T booth, of course it is now a ghost booth. Artwork is  by Jason Middlebrook  and is entitled Brooklyn Seeds, 2011. It is Glass mosaic

Jason Middlebrook's mosaic installation, "Brooklyn Seeds," is a monumentally-scaled garden of wildflowers climbing up the stair wall extending from Avenue U to the elevated train platform. Created in glass mosaic, the choice of plants is based upon local wildflowers that grow in unlikely places, through cracks in the sidewalk, alleys, and walls. Middlebrook's work explores the place where the urban and manmade intersect with the natural to survive and flourish. These flowers, often weeds, include such local specimens as spotted knapweed, burdock, golden rod, aster, milkweed and daises. Above many of the mosaic plants are airborne seed pods floating away to germinate, on a journey of their own

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NECK ROAD

 

 

Neck Road (Gravesend Neck Road at East 16th Street) opened 1907 Local stop, 4 tracks, 2 side platforms.  Biggest surprise is outside this station and directly to the east on same side at station entrance, the remains of the abandoned Neck Road station of the Manhattan Beach branch of the LIRR are located here.  As stated earlier, this line ran parallel to the current Brighton line ROW from south of Avenue H to Sheepshead Bay before veering off to Manhattan Beach. The abandoned station appears to be 2 tracks on 2 side platforms, the staircases are left intact. This is the only trace of an actual station; most of the other portions of the Manhattan Beach ROW are replaced with either brick houses or businesses. The exterior of the station was used as a backdrop for a couple of scenes in the Robert DeNiro film "A Bronx Tale" (1990), where a gang incident erupts out on the street. Artwork is by Mary Temple and is entitled West Wall, East Light, Morning, 2011. It is Ceramic mosaic

Mary Temple's artwork subtly shifts the commuter's perception of the subway station by creating a soft canopy of light and shade that floods the wall of the west stair leading up to the southbound platform. The standard wall tile has been tinted, transitioning from rectangular shapes to smaller angular shapes to form an elaborate fractured mosaic. Over the pattern of shapes, it appears that a shard of light and tree silhouettes illuminate the wall. On closer inspection viewers discover that the tiles are hand-painted in ceramic glazes. This slow reveal of the image was designed by the artist, to be discovered over time, on repeated viewing, as commuters catch a glimpse of perpetual morning light. As the artist reminds us, Henry David Thoreau said: "Vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning". The artwork may not be immediately noticed as it subtly plays with the viewer's perception of the space, and will lead to ongoing discovery and enjoyment as its mysteries are revealed  this time they are yellow, and were left unchanged during the 1980’s renovation; other 2 mezzanines are fully renovated. Platform extensions are clearly to the north, you can see a "break" on the platform floors (steel plates are present) and the difference underneath the platform. Artwork at both Kings Highway mezzanines: "Kings Highway Hieroglyphs" (1987) by Rhoda Andors, made of porcelain enamel, details the people and trains at the station entrances. Both sets are the same inside fare control. During the 1990’s signal replacement on the Brighton Line, a new signal electrical tower was installed over the express tracks at the south end. The old tower about 150 feet south of this station and facing the Southbound local track, is abandoned in favor of the new DeKalb master tower, which controls the interlocking switches and signals in this area.

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SHEEPSHEAD BAY

 

 

Sheepshead Bay (Sheepshead Bay Road and East 15th Street)   Station was renovated by NYCT’s in-house MOW forces in 1997-98 and features some very nice artwork.  The main entrance has "Welcome to Sheepshead Bay" next to the entrance/exit doors, along with 2 circular windows that allow you to peek from the outside and see the mezzanine.  The mezzanine inside fare control has 3 pieces of artwork, all titled "Postcards from Sheepshead Bay" (1998) by Deborah Golez.  Made of ceramic tile, it draws the faces and life on the "Bay" (as Brooklynites call it short for the neighborhood called Sheepshead Bay.). Inside the mezzanine, there are 3 artwork designs, a diner, some people wearing 17th century clothing near a boat dock, and a fisherman. A closer examination of the tile band at the mezzanine level has sea shells and Pisces fish. A bench sits facing fare control at Sheepshead Bay side and has 2 overhead heaters that provide comfort during the winter months. Although the main street serving the Full time booth at north end is Sheepshead Bay Road, the station was named for the area, rather than the street, (Same for our next and last stop, Brighton Beach, which the main avenue running underneath the station is Brighton Beach Ave.)   Platform curves to the west and makes for an interesting way to watch trains arriving, especially from the south end; it was extended to the north on both sides. Like Kings Highway station, there is clear evidence of the 1960’s platform extension.  This station originally was a terminal stop; the extension to Brighton Beach was not built until 1917, 10 years after the first elevated/embankment segment of the Brighton line opened.  Station has the usual 4 track, 2 island platform express configuration, 2 fare control areas, one at Sheepshead Bay with 2 stairs to each platform, and a Part time entrance at Voorhies Ave at the far south end, with 1 staircase. 

 The Voorhies Ave side has a booth that is open only during weekday mornings, most other times during the day there is HEET access.  At both mezzanine areas, BMT fax style directional mosaics tablets "To Manhattan" and "To Coney Island" were present.  Prior to the 1998 renovation, there was a small passageway behind the Full time booth area that led to a restaurant and small arcade of stores, it is now sealed. Outside and to the east of the Voorhies Ave side entrance, there is a pedestrian overpass running alongside the Manhattan-bound side of the Brighton line, it only crosses the Belt Parkway towards the opposite side. There seems to be some differences within Transit of the pronunciation of this station's name. Is it Sheep's Head (referring to a part of a sheep) or Sheep Shed (A place to store sheep)?  "Starbats1096" gave your webmaster an interesting fact: "This station, as well as the Sheepshead Bay area, is actually named after a species of fish! It's pronounced "Sheep's Head", by the way. I don't exactly remember why the fish was called that, but apparently the heavy fishing of it had an influence on naming the community. " Thank you "Starbats1096" for your answer!

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BRIGHTON BEACH

 

 

Brighton Beach (Brighton Beach Ave between Brighton 7th and Brighton 5th Streets) Opened 4/22/1917: This is the final stop for B trains and has 4 tracks, 2 island platforms, and 2 fare control areas.  Full time side is at Brighton 7th St at east side of station (due north), while Part time side is 24/7 HEET access and ghost booth.  B trains use both express tracks for arrivals and departures, while Q local trains use the local tracks. An up escalators sits behind the north staircase at street level and appears to be installed in the 1960’s or early 70’s. Like, Sheepshead Bay, it was renovated in-house and has large retro look signs of "BRIGHTON BEACH" above the stairway entrances at street level. Artwork: "Mermaid/Dionysus and the Pirates" (1999) by Dan George, appears on the Manhattan-bound platform and is made of aluminum. It tells the story of Dionysus, an ancient mythical God who was captured by pirates. Dionysus breaks free and turns into other creatures, scaring the captors. They jump into the sea waters, transforming into dolphins in the process. Platform extends to the west (due south) and has a gentle curve. Just beyond this terminal station, lie 2 additional tracks that end at bumper block at Ocean Parkway station. Although this location is the only elevated section in the entire NYCT system to have 6 tracks, only 2 see active revenue use by Q trains. The other 4 tracks are used for storing B trains when necessary. We travel to Ocean Parkway from Brighton Beach with 6 tracks among us.  This section is the only outdoor area in the entire NYCT system to have 6 tracks.  We are in the outermost 2 local tracks while the 4 middle tracks are used for storing B trains during non-rush hours

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OCEAN PARKWAY

 

 

 

Ocean Parkway (Ocean Parkway at Brighton Beach Avenue) opened 4/22/1917  Station has 4 tracks, 2 island platforms, and 2 mezzanines.  It was renovated simultaneously with Brighton beach in the late 1990's, by NYCT's in-house forces.  Each of the 2 mezzanines has 2 street stairs and 1 stair to each platform. Full time side is at east side of Ocean Parkway, while the Part time side to the west of the parkway has ghost booth (closed during renovation, custom practice for NYCT to secretly close booths during renovations take place.)  There are interesting soccer sized lamps on both platforms facing Ocean Parkway below, some bulbs are missing.  Just to the west of the station are 2 additional tracks starting from bumper blocks.  The platform was extended in the 1960's to the north, if you stand at street level past the Full time staircases, you will see the 2 bumper block tracks actually extend past the platform underneath for about 100 feet inward. 

We gently ease to the left and merge with the express track, while we see abandoned trackage to the right side; we now become 2 tracks from here to the end of the line at Stillwell Ave/Coney Island. We ascend slightly and observe girders at both ends that meet with the Culver Line outside West 8th Street. There were originally the tracks that ran straight to the lower level at West 8th Street from Ocean Parkway, before the Culver line was extended.  Had the original 1917 track configuration remained untouched, we would've arrived at West 8th Street on the lower level (currently used by F trains); while a train on the Brighton express track would use the upper level. 

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WEST 8 STREET

 

 

West 8th Street /NY Aquarium (West 8th St, north of Surf Avenue) opened on both levels 5/30/1919.   Culver connection to lower level opened 5/1/1920.  This station has 2 platform levels and a mezzanine below it and has been renovated by NYCT's in-house forces and is among the most visually pleasing in the entire subway system. Each level has 2 tracks and 2 side platforms; the lower level is for Culver F trains while we use the upper level.  Full time mezzanine is at West 8th Street with an outdoor ramp that goes over Surf Avenue and onto Coney Island's Rigelman Boardwalk.  The NY Aquarium is directly across the street from the station entrance and has a staircase down to the Aquarium's parking lot in front.  There is another staircase below the boardwalk ramp to Surf Ave and a second staircase opposite the ramp's side within the mezzanine.  Near the Surf Ave staircase and pedestrian bridge to the NY Aquarium and Boardwalk, is a sealed ramp to inside the F train level at the Manhattan-bound side only. This area appears to be closed some time ago, also raising the possibility that a ghost booth may have existed here. The closed area is preserved during the renovation process so far. The second staircase inside the opposite end of the mezzanine, leads down to West 8th Street. The Part time side at West 6th Street has now a ghost booth (was targeted in 2003 for booth closure) and is expected to have 24/7 HEET access when opened.  There are escalators from the part time mezzanine directly to our upper level.  The staircases from both levels to mezzanine are totally redesigned and have more open air space than before the renovation. 

According to the MTA Web Site "...Vito Acconci (Acconci Studio).Wavewall, 2005.Steel, ceramic tile, granite, fiberglass

The inspiration for the station's design was local sites - the historic Coney Island boardwalk and Cyclone roller coaster, the aquarium next to the station, and area beaches. The station is on the approximate site of a former roller coaster ride. The architect, Jim McConnell of Daniel Frankfurt, wanted to transform the exterior station walls in a unique way. Working with the architects, artist Vito Acconci developed an architectural treatment for the station façade that is full of life. As in successful collaborations, there is no clear delineation between the architecture and the art. Before rehabilitation, the windscreens blocked ocean views; the new windscreens open up the platform view of the Atlantic Ocean. In the artist's words, "The normally horizontal and vertical steel windscreen tubes and panels have been transformed into a more sinuous form that evokes the notion of a wave, or that of motion as in the Cyclone or the subway itself." The result is a striking and unique subway station that fits into its special surroundings.

We leave West 8th Street station and are treated to a nice backdrop on the south side to the playground we call Coney Island.  As we are leaving, we see the world famous Cyclone roller coaster, the former Astroland Amusement Park, and before we turn off to enter Stillwell Avenue terminal, we see Nathan’s restaurant at the comer of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. Also before we enter Stillwell, there are switches to Tracks #1 and #2 on the D line, while we enter into Track #3 (our other Track #4, does not have any direct switches to Tracks 1 and 2.  This is only used for non-revenue moves, the last time this track saw active revenue service was in 1967, when the short lived NX special rush hour express service operated.  The N train would start at Brighton Beach on the South bound side, travel to West 8th Street, then use this track to arrive at Track #2, before departing nonstop from here to 59th Street/4th Ave along the Sea Beach express tracks, then onto to midtown Manhattan via the N line

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STILLWELL AVENUE

CONEY ISLAND

 

 

Stillwell Ave-Coney Island is discussed on the complexes page

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 Last revised 1/7/13

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