Underground

SUBWAY STYLE: The Art and Architecture of the New York Subway Aystem

We all know that New York couldn’t function without its vast labyrinth of a subway system, but art and architecture? Who knew? Yet from the beginning, the people who planned the subway’s construction considered it, in words actually written into the contract, a “great public work” worthy of attractive design, even of “beauty.” Neglect on the one hand and renovation on the other have taken their toll, but the subway is still a place of art and architecture – from the stations and the power houses and the rolling stock, to the furniture, the signs, the maps, and even the advertisements. On this tour, we will ride the rails from the Battery to midtown, and consider the three major phases of subway design: the original 1904 IRT, designed by Heins & LaFarge, the Dual Contracts extensions of the ‘teens, and the modernistic Independent Line that opened in 1932 – with a peek at a ’70s redesign by Philip Johnson.

CBS listed this tour as one of “The 5 Best Art Walks In New York”