by Kevin Walsh

Here’s the entrance to the Columbus Circle subway station, officially 59th Street for the IND trains this entrance was constructed for, at Central Park West at Central Park South. It’s a massive post-top lamp, one of a pair of such located at this entrance, and amazingly, still lit by incandescent bulbs. The Independent Subway interacts with parks on occasion, such as here and also at St. Nicholas Park uptown and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and designers and engineers took the opportunity to be a little playful with the subway entrance designs. I ought to do a feature on this aspect of the IND, whose stations are recognizable by their Machine-Age spareness that can tend toward monotonousness.

Central Park isn’t known for its interaction with subways, but A, B, C and D trains (IND) run along the entire length of Central Park West. Meanwhile, R and N trains (BMT) run beneath Central Park South between 5th and 7th Avenues. The F, running under 6th Avenue, and the Q, running under 7th, tunnel north and then turn east beneath the park. Uptown, the 2 train (IRT) turns east under West 104th and then northeast beneath the park, with a station at Central Park North and Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Blvd.)

In the old days when I worked at Macy’s, I would simply take the train uptown on my lunch hour, stretch it to two hours and grab the photos I needed, but I’m working at a much smaller place at the moment and my absence would definitely be noticed!

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



Andy June 21, 2019 - 7:33 am

On Central Park South (59th St.) west of Fifth Avenue, the BMT 5th Avenue Station has a similarly-designed entrance built into Central Park’s masonry wall. However, other IND stations along Central Park West at 72nd, 81st, 86th, 96th, and 103rd Streets do not have stairways on the east side of the street, along the park, because there are no buildings on that side. The entrances are all conventional IND style and on the west side, where the buildings are located. However, the 110th Street Station does have a stairway on the east side, just south of 110th Street, that is built into the park wall, much like 59th Street. The lighting fixture is not a classic, though – it’s a modern vertical “M” stanchion.

Jeff B. June 21, 2019 - 10:38 pm

If you do a feature on the non-standard IND entrances, there’s one alongside the Dakota on the CPW side @ W72 St

EW_3 June 23, 2019 - 9:25 pm

There was a time when NYC was an elegant place.


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