LAWRENCE STREET

by Kevin Walsh

This is the last, or at least among the last, Lawrence Street signs on the BMT platform I’ve always known as Lawrence Street. The station name was wiped from the MTA subway maps last year, when a connection to the IND A/C/F trains at the Jay Street/Metrotech station was opened. (And that station had for years been known as just plain Jay Street; until 1969, a transfer was available from the first stop of the Myrtle Avenue El there). Lawrence Street is now also called Jay Street/Metrotech.

Here’s a little mind blower for you. Whenever I’d go by this station on the train as a kid, I’d notice the remarkable station signs, which featured a large L and the rest of the word, awrence, in much smaller type. Of course the standard black and white signs came in much later.

So, pretty much the only claim to fame this small street had, which runs for 3 or 4 blocks in downtown Brooklyn, has been taken away from it. When I was a kid, my father and I would visit a camera shop on Lawrence and Willoughby. It could have been a Willoughby’s.

13 comments

Pilsner Panther February 18, 2012 - 12:00 am

This sign looks like someone’s been using it for target practice! I wonder what the story is behind the apparent bullet damage?

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Iggy Catalpa April 7, 2012 - 10:44 am

It’s not bullet damage. Someone tried to pry it off the girder (probably for a souvenir), and the enamel tends to chip like that when you do. Interestingly enough, all of the signs that said “World Trade Center” were stolen from the Chambers street “E” train terminal platform. The few that weren’t stolen immediately, had similar chipping…. Until they disappeared too.

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Larry February 18, 2012 - 12:01 am

My stop when I was in college at NYC Technical College.

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John Telesca February 18, 2012 - 9:09 am

Yes, I remember the signs with the big L too (anyone have a photo?).

It was also unique because the station walls were never tiled, as if no one ever cared.

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BST February 19, 2012 - 12:35 pm

My stop when I attended Polytechnic Institute of NY (formerly Brooklyn Poly).

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Fred Phillips February 19, 2012 - 7:54 pm

I can still remember shopping at A&S (now Macy’s) in downtown Brooklyn and using this subway station. Also buying penny candies (Walnettos) from the vending machines that were wedged into the station posts.

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Cheryl February 22, 2012 - 2:17 pm

I remember when i went to City Tech also getting off there, i would ride the M train all the way around the bend from Fresh Pond to Lawrence.

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Helen Chirivas February 24, 2012 - 3:18 am

Yes – I remember using the Lawrence St stop after shopping at A&S. All seems so long ago – downtown was so special once. The department stores on Fulton St – anyone remember Martin’s – somehow represented quality.

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Ellen LoGiudice March 25, 2012 - 6:54 pm

Oh my gosh, A&S, Martin’s, McCrory’s and Korvette’s!

I remember when A&S had elevator operators. As a young girl in the 50’s it seemed like the grandest store in the world at Christmas time! There was a little ice cream bar in the basement level where I’d buy strawberry parfaits.

And of course there was the Automat right nearby. The best Mac and cheese!

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Kathleen Raftery March 18, 2014 - 9:58 am

I lived in Bay Ridge, Bklyn., and road the “4th Ave. local” to Lawrence Street to attend St. Josephs High School, and shop at A&S, Martins, Mays,Korvettes. Lunch was usually at the Chock full of Nuts, with my Mom. I even bought my wedding dress in Martins. I am planning to attend my 50th high school reunion, and was disappointed to learn that Lawrence Street Station was no more. Hope I can find my way!!

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Lawrence Sullivan October 18, 2015 - 8:44 am

My grandmother worked the Token Booth at this stop for years in the early 50s. Her two daughters went to St. Joe’s High School immediately top-side. Many years later, my first move out into the world landed me on Bridge Street. I used the Lawrence Street station to commute to work each day. Oh, she named me Lawrence.

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Marklace7 September 21, 2017 - 11:29 pm

Very nice comments!!!

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Dragon1952 June 24, 2018 - 7:19 pm

I’d take the local “tunnel train” past DeKalb Ave (circa the mid/late 1960’s) to stop here (closer to the Dept. stores). Not far past this was the abondoned platform to Myrtle Ave Station (closed in 1956, but still intact as the local train slowly passed through it). One morning in the late 60’s, the local train ACTUALLY STOPPED at the Myrtle Ave. station, AND THE DOORS OPENED! My friend and I were tempted to run out and see the abandoned platform, but knew we could not get back on another train without being charged with trespassing. (BTW,The train was picking up a subway employee working on the tracks). But I saw the “ghost station” up close for ten seconds!

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