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Thread: Abandoned New York subway stations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Abandoned New York subway stations

    Joseph Brennan's photos of abandoned New York subway stations -- from a never-completed Grand Central Station platform built in 1918 to the ruins of the stop underneath the World Trade Center -- will wow urban historians and urban explorers alike.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    That's pretty interesting. If the abandoned stations are never reopened for transit use, what would be a good alternative use for them?
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    That's pretty interesting. If the abandoned stations are never reopened for transit use, what would be a good alternative use for them?
    I would think that it would be fairly easy to reuse as office or retail space. Depending on how cavernous the abandoned ones are... maybe a theatre... or a restaurant. Or my personal favorite... SODs... in many cases, the poles would already be there.

    Of course, public uses are often the ones forced to make do with less-than-normal spaces. They might make for good public library spaces.

    Just imagine the bitchin' parties you could throw in an abandoned subway station!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    That's pretty interesting. If the abandoned stations are never reopened for transit use, what would be a good alternative use for them?
    There is already an underground society that lives within the sewers and abandoned subway lines of NY. They even have their own elected mayor. I'll have to dig up the articles on it. Interesting stuff.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    I saw a website like this not too long ago. It also had abandoned stations and tracks for London and other European systems. The sad thing is that the system of forgotten stations in London is larger than Atlanta's active heavy rail system.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Brennan's site has been around forever; at least since the mid-1990s. It's one of the earliest urban exploration sites on the Web -- well, not true urban exploration, but one of the first to deal with abandoned places and infrastructure. The photos are a fairly recent addition.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Wow... Is it even profitable to have abandoned subway stations? Although considering that the NY subway is around 100 years old now; comparing to the 34 years of Santiago's subway... Things change in 100 years so I guess it's pretty inevitable.

    Santiago's subway is right now expanding heavily and by the end of next year the whole system will have around 80 km in extension... and although it has lots of stations that have little traffic, the inexistance of express trains and alternative lines prevent them from being abandoned; besides actually the system only has 3 lines (next year 5)

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Wow... Is it even profitable to have abandoned subway stations?
    Very few mass transit systems are profitable.

    Most of the abandoned stations you'll hear about fall into the following categories:

    1. Stations that are closed because they are very close to another station, with the intent of reducing travel times (many in NYC, London and Paris).
    2. Stations that bypassed when the routing of a line is changed (Chicago's Van Buren-Congress station, Lower Bay in Toronto).
    3. Provisions for a future system expansion that never took place (Lower Queen in Toronto; many on the IND lines in NYC, where stations for never-built second phase lines were built where the lines were planned to cross first phase lines).
    4. Stations partly built when the system was under construction, but never actually opened because it was realized that traffic would probably be low for a very long time (Bull and Bush in London, Haxo and some others in Paris).

    /transit_geek
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    Another similar site...


    http://www.nycsubway.org/
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  10. #10
    Some of the abandoned stations/platforms are used to lay-up trains between rush hours or overnight. At least one abandoned platform is expected to someday be put into regular use. Some of the abandoned stuff was not completely built, thus unusable for anything.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    They also make a good hide out for Lex Luthor, Otis and Ms. Teschmacher.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    2. Stations that bypassed when the routing of a line is changed (Chicago's Van Buren-Congress station, Lower Bay in Toronto).
    There is no Congress and Van Buren. Those streets are parallel!

    I do think there is an entrance to the state street subway near congress that was closed when a different stopping pattern was devised.

    There were stations on the Paulina Connectior that were abandoned when the Logan Square trains were routed through the new Milwaukee subway though. Now the Paulina Connector is supposed to be reactivated as part of the CTA's Circle Line plan, but unfortunately, the stations were demolished.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    I would think that it would be fairly easy to reuse as office or retail space. Depending on how cavernous the abandoned ones are... maybe a theatre... or a restaurant.
    Mmm, if you like battered-dipped cockroaches and roasted rats.


  14. #14
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Mmm, if you like battered-dipped cockroaches and roasted rats.

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  15. #15
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Very few mass transit systems are profitable.

    Most of the abandoned stations you'll hear about fall into the following categories:

    1. Stations that are closed because they are very close to another station, with the intent of reducing travel times (many in NYC, London and Paris).
    2. Stations that bypassed when the routing of a line is changed (Chicago's Van Buren-Congress station, Lower Bay in Toronto).
    3. Provisions for a future system expansion that never took place (Lower Queen in Toronto; many on the IND lines in NYC, where stations for never-built second phase lines were built where the lines were planned to cross first phase lines).
    4. Stations partly built when the system was under construction, but never actually opened because it was realized that traffic would probably be low for a very long time (Bull and Bush in London, Haxo and some others in Paris).

    /transit_geek
    Adding to that, stations that became outdated due to the need for longer platforms to accomodate longer trains. NYC City Hall station falls into this category. Since it's built into a loop, it was impossible to lengthen the platforms. Sad, because it's such a beautiful station.
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- Well, it never served any real purpose anyway. There's a station like a half-block from it. It was built so the Mayor could take visitors to City Hall downstairs and show off his grand new subway system. That's why it's the only ornate station on a system consisting nearly entirely of hole-in-the-sidewalk stations.

  17. #17
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    That's an amazing site!

    What I wonder is, with some of them that are closed, do subways still run through them, but the platform is closed?

    I've never actually been on a Subway, unless you count my trip to New York when I was 6 or so.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Very few mass transit systems are profitable.

    Most of the abandoned stations you'll hear about fall into the following categories:

    1. Stations that are closed because they are very close to another station, with the intent of reducing travel times (many in NYC, London and Paris).
    2. Stations that bypassed when the routing of a line is changed (Chicago's Van Buren-Congress station, Lower Bay in Toronto).
    3. Provisions for a future system expansion that never took place (Lower Queen in Toronto; many on the IND lines in NYC, where stations for never-built second phase lines were built where the lines were planned to cross first phase lines).
    4. Stations partly built when the system was under construction, but never actually opened because it was realized that traffic would probably be low for a very long time (Bull and Bush in London, Haxo and some others in Paris).

    /transit_geek
    You forgot the fifth and sixth reasons-- "crime concerns" and "lack of ridership," as is the cause of the abandonment of Philadelphia's Franklin Square and Spring Garden-Ridge stations.

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    That's pretty interesting. If the abandoned stations are never reopened for transit use, what would be a good alternative use for them?
    Toronto's Lower Bay is often made up and used in film/commercial shoots. Take a look for yourself with shots from Don't Say a Word .

  20. #20
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Yeah, Joe Brennan's site is great - for amusement, his April Fool's Joke from a couple of years ago: http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/76st.html

    If you have a spare century, search the archives on http://talk.nycsubway.org for how the subway enthusiasts got totally fooled!

  21. #21
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    For being an April Fool's Day joke, it looked quite serious until the part about the stairway in the yard.

    Once Al Lutz (a writer at a Disney watchdog site) created an article about a merger between Wal-Mart and Disney. What was the new company's name? Walt-Mart!

    A lot of people thought it was real, even though I knew from the get-go he was pulling our legs.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally posted by jimi_d
    Yeah, Joe Brennan's site is great - for amusement, his April Fool's Joke from a couple of years ago: http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/76st.html
    Amusement? I use it for serious research!

    (referring to the site as a whole)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally posted by Soph
    Amusement? I use it for serious research!

    (referring to the site as a whole)
    Oops, what I said does scan really badly. You know what I meant!

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