The removal of a newsstand at West 3rd Street and 6th Avenue has revealed the presence of an old-style enamel sign attached to a stairway rail. Signs of this type were once prevalent in the subways before the current Unimark white on black signs appeared in the late 1960s. The Unimark syle gradually spread throughout the subways, but this kind of sign could still be found on occasion well into the 1980s.
The Independent Subway was built by the City between 1925-1948 as a competing service to Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) and Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT). Ownership of the latter two was transferred to the City in 1940, which then began to operate all three systems.
Hopefully, with a greater emphasis on preservation in the 21st Century, this sign will be vouchsafed to remain in place.
Photo: Kathy Feldman