Recent photos of the City Hall station.
An example of the care used to obtain artistic effects can be seen at the City Hall station.
--The New York Subway: Its Construction and Equipment, 1904
THE CITY HALL STATION was the showpiece of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. Having been described as the most beautiful subway station in the world, this "apotheosis of curves," as House and Garden magazine termed it, was meant as a way to show off the splendor and glamour of New York's first subway line; of course, it is like no other subway station. From the moment the train curves into the station, it is obvious that this place is different. Perhaps its most stunning features are the Guastavino arches, which were also used by architects Heins and LaFarge at one of their other great monuments, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine; there is not a straight line or support column in sight. The station is alive with color, with natural light from the vault lighting in front of City Hall upstairs pouring into the station, through the three leaded glass sections above the tracks, and the oculus atop the mezzanine.
ALAS, City Hall Station succumbed to its unique design. After 41 years, City Hall saw its last day of passenger service on December 31, 1945. While most of the other original stations had been lengthened to accommodate longer trains, it was not deemed worthwhile to extend City Hall, with Brooklyn Bridge station so close by. Indeed, no extension of City Hall could match the architectural beauty of the original.
THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS document the construction of City Hall station, from 1902 right until opening day of the IRT on October 27, 1904.
Back to The IRT: First Stations page.