One of the more unusual quirks in the NYC subway network had been alleviated by late 2012. After the IND Sixth Avenue Line was constructed in the 1930s, a free transfer was provided in 1957 between the new line and the downtown IRT Lexington Avenue Line, the #6 train, at Bleecker Street. And so it remained for decades.
The MTA finally decided to provide a connection to the uptown 6 a few years ago, and after over three years of construction (that wound up closing the sidewalk and making traffic detours on Houston Street for quite awhile) the new connection was finally made, making the station fully functional.
The new connection to the uptown #6 was made without a lot of new subway decoration or fanfare. There’s some colored neon lighting in hexagonal patterns on the ceiling but that’s about it.
However, the MTA also saw fit to give the IRT Bleecker station a nice new makeover, adding new tiled walls with brick patterns that closely matched the 1904 original, and touchups for the brilliant blue Grueby Faience pottery station ID plaques. They are described in more detail on FNY’s Original 28 subway stations page. These are original Heins and LaFarge design elements.
There’s still something of a rough-and-ready quality, as one of the pottery trim elements has been cut through at a station exit.