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Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)

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Title: Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)  
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Subject: 6 (New York City Subway service), New York City Subway tiles, East Village, Manhattan, Bowling Green (IRT Lexington Avenue Line), Grueby Faience Company
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Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)

Astor Place
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Downtown platform
Station statistics
Address Astor Place & Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
Borough Manhattan
Locale NoHo / East Village
Division A (IRT)
Line       IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services       4 late nights (late nights)
      6 all times (all times) <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M8
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Other information
Opened October 27, 1904  (1904-10-27)[1]
Former/other names Astor Place – Cooper Union
Cooper Union
Rob Tapert speaking at SPADA 2010
Rank 75 out of 421
Station succession
Next north 14th Street – Union Square: 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction
Next south Bleecker Street: 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction

Astor Place, also called Astor Place – Cooper Union on signs, is a local station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Completed in 1904, it is one of the original twenty-eight stations in the system. Located at the intersection of Lafayette Street, Eighth Street, Fourth Avenue, Cooper Square, and Astor Place between the East Village and NoHo, it is served by the 6 train at all times, the <6> train during weekday in peak direction and by the 4 train during late nights. The station is on the List of Registered Historic Places in New York.

Station layout

Downtown entrance

Astor Place is a local station with four tracks and two side platforms. The fare control is at platform level, and the underpass connecting northbound and southbound sides was removed in the 1980s. The northbound platform contains a news and candy stand, which replaced the original public women's lavatory. On the southbound side, the station has a department store entrance into a K-Mart. This store was originally constructed in 1868 as an A. T. Stewart. It had changed ownership and was a Wanamaker's when the station was constructed. The heavy brick-faced square columns on the downtown platform support the store above. The northern building of Wanamaker's store, but not the southern building above, burned in the 1950s. Octagonal windows on the brick wall of the platform were the store's showcases.

Plaques of beavers are located on the walls, in honor of John Jacob Astor's fortune derived from the beaver-pelt trade. The plaques, as well as name tablets, were made by the Grueby Faience Company in 1904. The station also has untitled porcelain on steel murals, made by Cooper Union alumnus Milton Glaser in 1986. During the renovation, the magnificent maroon and gold tile Cooper Union signs underneath the tile Astor Place signs were destroyed.[3] Black and white pillar signs read Astor Place on one pillar, then Cooper Union on the next.

The station underwent renovation in 1986. In addition to the famous glazed ceramic beaver plaques, new porcelain street artwork was installed. There was an underpass between the uptown and downtown sides, but it was closed and covered up in the 1980s renovation. The access hatch to the underpass is visible behind the northbound token booth inside the fare control area.

The original plans for the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (now PATH) included a spur along Ninth Street to this station.

Entrances and exits

Uptown entrance, a reproduction of old IRT kiosk

The station has two entrances, one in each direction. The southbound platform's entrance is at the southwest corner of Astor Place and Lafayette Street, while the northbound platform's entrance is in the traffic island bounded by Fourth Avenue, Lafayette Street, and Eighth Street.[4] There is a reproduction of an IRT entry kiosk on the street level over the northbound entrance.

Points of interest

The station itself is a point of local interest, as it is on the List of Registered Historic Places in New York. Several other sites of historical and cultural importance located near the station. The New York University and Cooper Union are both located nearby. Visitors to the Astor Place area often rotate the Alamo Cube, at street level above the tail end of the northbound platform. A tiled-up doorway, on southwest wall behind the southbound token booth, sports a lintel proclaiming "Clinton Hall". This doorway once led to the New York Mercantile Library in the former Astor Opera House.[5] Other points of interest include:

The Eighth Street – New York University station on the BMT Broadway Line is one block west of the station.

Image gallery


Further reading

  • Lee Stokey. Subway Ceramics : A History and Iconography. 1994. ISBN 978-0-9635486-1-0

External links

  •—IRT East Side Line: Astor Place
  • — Untitled Artwork by Milton Glaser (1986)
  • Station Reporter — 6 Train
  • Forgotten NY: Subways and Trains — Original 28 IRT subway stations
  • MTA's Arts For Transit — Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
  • Fourth Avenue entrance from Google Maps Street View
  • Lafayette Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
  • Platforms from Google Maps Street View
  • Lobby from Google Maps Street View
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