POSITIVELY 4TH, Greenwich Village

by Kevin Walsh

Sorry about the blurry image — my Panasonic Lumix does not do well in subway tunnels, or I don’t know the setting to make it work (my IPhone actually does better down here, and my other photos today using the Lumix came out all right).

West 4th Street is a key nexus in the subways. It’s an all Independent Subway station, constructed by NYC in the 1930s into 1940 to serve Manhattan’s West Side. The older IRT’s westernmost line ran on Broadway and 7th Avenue, while the 6th and 9th Avenue Els survived into the early 40s. West 4th has two levels of tracks, the basement tracks going up 6th Avenue (B/D/F/M), the upper tracks (A/C/E) heading up Greenwich and 8th Avenues.

While the city has been absolutely zealous about removing older forms of signage, especially the IND’s original white porcelain signs with black letters and numbers, the center pillars here on the B/D/F/M level still have the 1930s-era signs, and for all I know a lot of IND stations still sport these. They’d be a pain in the neck to remove, necessitating stoppage of service wherever the workmen set up. I think we’ll have these for quite a while yet. 

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Andy December 17, 2017 - 10:52 pm

Thanks for posting. I hate to admit it, but never noticed that these old style signs still survive on the lower level. I’ve been to this station countless times, transferring or just passing through. In the 70s and 80s I did use this station as an origin/destination when I was going to graduate school at NYU, but since that was after work I was usually in a hurry to get to class or get home. Next time I’m there, I’ll take notice. Always liked the old porcelain station signs.

Lady Feliz December 19, 2017 - 7:08 pm

Of course, now that you took the pics, those signs are short for this world! Let’s hope not…


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