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Astor Place Subway Station

Astor Place Subway Station (84)

At this subway station you can see one of the few entrance kiosks that can still be found on the streets of New York.

Each of the 28 stations on the line linking City Hall to 145th Street had a kiosk like this once upon a time. This subway line was the first in the city, it was inaugurated on 27 October, 1904 and had 14 kilometres of track.  Of the original 28 stations, 4 are currently closed.

This iron structure is a reconstruction because in the 60s they were all taken apart. If you go down into the station, do not be surprised if you come across a plaque bearing an image of a beaver; this animal symbolizes the fortunes of the Astor family, which has its origins in the fur trade. The plaque dates from 1904 and was made by the firm Heins & LaFarge/Grueby Faience Company. You will find more symbols from the same firm scattered throughout the station.

Among other things, you will also notice that what used to be the ladies’ room is now a kiosk, but that the stone signs with the inscriptions "Women" and "Men" have been preserved.

The most interesting thing about this station is its entrance kiosk. Now, if you want to see one of the best-preserved subway stations, we suggest you go to the City Hall station, which is a true marvel. Mosaics, stained glass, wrought iron hanging lamps... it is a beautiful station, which is why they call it the "crown jewel" of the New York subway system.

However, visiting it might prove somewhat tricky, as it is has been closed to the public since 1945 and the New York Transit Museum is the only institution that organises exclusive visits to this station. However, fans of lost corners of New York know a trick to be able to visit it. If you take the local subway line 6 from the centre towards Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station at the end of the line, make a turn to catch the line that heads back north. On this small stretch, you will pass by and be able to catch a glimpse of this station. This is, of course, provided that the driver allows you to stay in the carriage.

Gone are the 14 kilometres of track, as the subway has been expanded to cover more than 1,100 kilometres. The New York subway is still one of the iconic sights of the city and one of the symbols most associated with it.

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