by Kevin Walsh

I haven’t spent nearly as much time in the IRT Lexington Avenue line stations, the ones between 59th and 125th Streets, as I could have over the years. These stations celebrated their centennial in July 2018, and over the past couple of decades they have been cleaned and polished with plenty of new mosaic artwork added not only as murals, but also in new station signage. Station lighting has been brightened up considerably. Some of the stations also boast unique aspects like arched windows in the mezzanines overlooking the tracks, such as at 96th Street. I plan on doing a survey of these stations sometimes soon on one of these rainy days. NYC certainly has plenty of those in the spring. I recently made a Mt Sinai Hospital visit to a cousin and so, took the #6 up to 96th Street.

Some station ID tablets present the street number on either side with a mosaic design in between. These additions go back to a station renovation done in 1998, which illustrates my point — I didn’t know they existed. Other tablets going back to 1918 show the street name spelled out as usual, “96th STREET.”

These tablets, which may be near perfect squares, appear in the mezzanine. No doubt some craftsmanship went into creating them, and whoever made them must have had a lot of fun with it. Dark blue and green as well as buff are the primary colors.

On the way back, at 103rd Street, I was happy to see that the intrusive fake wall along the original tiled station walls had been removed. I use that station to get to the Museum of the City of New York at 5th Avenue and 104th Street. Now if they’d remove the one at 51st Street…

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



Mitch45 May 13, 2019 - 3:00 pm

I really hope the MTA is finally coming around to the realization that the early lines employed artisans to construct the tilework and that these shouldn’t be demolished or covered up, but cleaned up and showcased.

Joy May 18, 2019 - 12:51 am

It’s been over a year since I last visted NYC and rode the Lexington Line, but always enjoyed the mosaic artwork ( without trying to gawk like a tourist) at each station. I’ve ridden enough on the Lexington line from 145th St down to 42st.

Joseph P Blake May 24, 2019 - 10:36 am

I lived at 128 E. 98st and went to St Francis de Sales school on 97st and Church on 96th between Lex and Park I have traveled to and from this station thousands of times between 1961 (tokens were .015) up until the 1980s


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