There’s been a lot of “ink” and cyberink spilled lately regarding the new Fulton Transit Center, which is basically a new headhouse with rearranged passageways that links the BMT, IND and IRT in Lower Manhattan. Personally, at first glance, I find the place a bit cold and dystopian, but I realize they weren’t going to build the kind of station I’d prefer, with plenty of mosaic tiling, terra cotta and wood paneling.
The good part is, though, that one such station already exists in the IRT portion of the complex, in the Fulton Street station serving the #4 and #5 trains, opened in January 1905. Colorful plaques depict the Clermont, Robert Fulton’s steamship, as well as engraved signs, ornate station identification, fluted columns, and ornamentation found in Beaux Arts era in which it was built.
This exit led to #195 Broadway, the former home of American Telephone & Telegraph as well as Western Union. The building was completed in 1916, so this entrance/exit was built about a decade after the station opened. It used to be functional, but I’m not sure when it closed; perhaps it was during the just-completed station renovations, and maybe it will reopen sometime.