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FNY Correspondent

With the IND approaching 80 years old, I thought I would give their decidedly different substations (from the BMT or IRT) some attention.  Since the substations were constructed in the early 1930s, the Art Moderne look was its logical direction in design.  Unlike the IRT or BMT, all of its substations have survived and are currently in use.  Each building is markedly different in size and design.  It would be very likely if these substations were constructed today — they’d look like they came from a cookie cutter. Isn’t it great that it didn’t happen that way?


Located on W. 133rd Street between St. Nicholas Avenue & Frederick Douglas Blvd. (8th Avenue), the Harlem Substation sits there with all its majesty and grace.


A very unique design on the door.

[IND took Art Moderne to its ultimate use -- even commissioning unique designs for grillwork like that found here on the doors. The fonts chiseled over the doors are the same ones used on IND station signage -- and nowhere else.]


The Stanton Street substation’s front door is actually on Essex Street.


The front door on Essex Street.


These zig zag lines are electrifying!


The Concourse yard on Jerome Avenue &  203rd Street  is the home for this beauty. It’s no longer a substation, but a storage building. The Concourse yard services the B & D lines.


Check out this design!


The Concourse yard has another storage building on 204th Street between Jerome & Paul Avenues.


One of the IND’s more intricate vent grills.


This substation has made a previous appearance on FNY not too long ago in a Greenwich Avenue entry. It is one of the taller IND substations. [Greenwich Avenue and West 13th Street]


Even though Jay Street and Smith Streets are indeed separate streets in Brooklyn, strangers to Brooklyn’s geography could walk from Smith Street & Hamilton Avenue all the way to Jay & Tillary Streets and think they were on the same street.  With this in mind, this Jay Street substation near Concord Street in Downtown Brooklyn is essentially on the same street as the Smith Street substation.


Smith Street near 2nd Place [Carroll Street station] is the location of this beauty.


I tried to get shot of this substation  around 3PM one day back in May. Due to traffic conditions and congestion, it was impossible to get a great shot of the IND’s largest substation, the Central Substation on West 53rd Street, btween 6th & 7th Avenues.  I was finally able to get these better shots at 5:40AM back in May.


The Avenue X substation can’t be seen too well from Shell Road & Avenue X in Brooklyn by the general public.  That’s because it sits far from the street. Check out the stylish Art Moderne font.



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17 Responses to IND SUBSTATIONS

  1. chris says:

    Since its a substation that means it can be used in the place of a regular station if the regular one is closed for repairs-Brilliant!

  2. Ed Sachs says:

    I don’t know that the “Avenue X” substation (or is it “Avenue Z”) counts as an “IND” substation. Wasn’t built as part of the BMT Coney Island yard complex at around the same time (late 1920s/early 1930s)?

  3. zoso says:

    i am from florida.what is a substation ?

  4. Old Skool says:

    I love this style. Too bad the second system did not get built. There would have been more buildings like this.

  5. BST says:

    Looks like the substation has an Ave Z address

  6. R says:

    Beautiful stone and masonry work there – exactly what is lacking in modern architecture today. (well, that AND quality). Cheers, great we