As part of station renovations that will connect the Bleecker Street station (on the Lexington Avenue Line #6 train) to the IND Broadway-Lafayette station, the MTA has temporarily removed the station wall tiling, exposing blank brick walls. I imagine this situation will exist for a few months until the tiling can be reinstalled. The city takes great care these days to preserve the original 19-oughts flavor of its historic stations, so when complete, Bleecker Street will be something to write home to Mother about.

Bleecker Street, which opened 10/27/1904, the subways’ Opening Day, boasts exquisite robins’ egg blue station ID tablets produced by the Grueby Faience Company of Boston. They’re protected landmarks, so the city can’t remove them and install bland black and white Helvetica signs in their place.


Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains Tagged with:


  1. Tom says:

    As I recall you can change from the downtown IRT to the uptown IND at Bleecker / Broadway Lafayette…..Perhaps the modifications will allow a transfer the other way? Nice photo showing the original sign against the brick wall underneath the original tile. Never saw a picture of that before….

  2. Tal Barzilai says:

    When the transfer was made for the Broadway line, it could only connect with the downtown platform. The idea for giving it for the uptown side isn’t something new here. The only problem for why that is been shelved for so long until now was probably due to cost. If you asked me, it’s probably much more needed than that extension of the 7 train past Times Square. Before they finally did this, I found it annoying that you can’t make the free transfer to Broadway-Lafayette from Bleecker Street when taking the 6 uptown unless you didn’t mind exiting and taking it way, which caused many to feel creative where to make that transfer when going uptown despite being able to do it when going downtown.

    • Kevin Walsh says:

      What burned me this morning is that I had an appointment at 2nd and 10th. That meant I needed to get off at Astor Place. But noooo. They skip Astor on some downtown 6’s in the morning. So I took it to Bleecker and walked back uptown.

    • Tal Barzilai says:

      I meant to say that the Broadway-Lafayette Station is part of the Sixth Avenue Line, not the Broadway Line. Still, I could never understand why the Bleecker Street was only given a free transfer to that from the downtown side only. However, this is not the only place where there are stops near each other where transfers can’t be done. I did here about a place in Brooklyn where the 3 and L meet almost across from each other with even a walkway, but there is no free transfer there. Also, just recently a free transfer was done in Queens where the 7 meets the E and G, but was only allowed for an out of system transfer only. I never did understand exactly how an out of system transfer really works on the subway, and if it is the same when switching from the bus to the subway and vice versa.

      • Nicole says:

        The stops on the 3/L are Junius and Livonia. Both of them elevated, so one runs right over the other, but with no direct transfer. There are also stops on the J where you can see the G but there is no transfer. At the Court Square station, where the E G M & 7 meet, the station was reconfigured to accomodate the transfer. Now a days, most free out of system tranfers are made with the MetroCard.

  3. D. says:

    … so the city can’t remove them and install bland black and white Helvetica signs in their place.Good.

    As I remember, only the downtown platform currently connects with Broadway-Lafayette. Are they finally building a tunnel for the uptown side?

  4. Larry Mac says:

    Scope the lady on the left. Despite being a pretty girl “going somewhere” on a train she cannot be disconnected from another dolt so she must stroke a tiny keboard with her thumbs while being unaware of her surroundings.

    We made brighter people in my day and my day started when Harry Truman was president picking up the slack after FDR passed away.

  5. Gary Fonville says:

    Whew. I had a scare with those oval signs. I was riding the express 4 or 5 when I looked out the window and THOUGHT that they removed those beauties. So glad they were retained.

  6. Warren J Eng says:

    I recall initially riding to HS of Art & Design from Second Avenue, changing at Bleeker Street to go southbound, changing at Brooklyn Bridge, and then riding northbound all the way to 59th Street. The reverse was easy as the southbound #6 (né IRT) stop at Bleeker Street allowed a simple uninterrupted walk to all of Broadway-Lafayette station’s platforms. I got wise to this after a year and switched my school subway pass to Bleeker Street as my home entry point but I cheated and returned via Second Avenue on my way home from school. Let’s see now… that was in 1965 and they are now getting around to building an access point to Bleeker Street’s NORTHBOUND platforms! Better late than never, I’d say.

    As I haven’t lived in NYC in forty-four years, when I do visit, it’s a bit of a learning curve each time I review the MTA website as train numbers are constantly being rerouted or discontinued. But I still love NYC!

    • Bruce Greengart says:

      Hi Warren.
      This is Bruce Greengart, a fellow A&D alumni of the class of 1968. .We are organizing a 50th Anniversary Renion for next year. If you are interested in this reunion, please join the following closed FB group:
      Art & Design 1968’s 50th

      If you are not on FB and want to be kept in the loop, please let me know the email address you want to use for this purpose. Your phone number may be helpful, too. I will pass this information on to the proper alumni organizers.

      Bruce Greengart

  7. Chasidy B says:

    I’ve traveled this route a million times and always wondered when were they going to make a southbound transfer available…I’m just glad I’m getting to see it in my life time…

  8. Vinnie says:

    As a toddler, I used to think of these tablets as the “family feud” sign because of the oval shape and how this look was similar to when the tv show originally introduced the families that would play. Imagination was really something as a child riding the subways…:-)

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