JACKSON AVENUE TILE, Queens Plaza

by Kevin Walsh

Jackson Avenue begins an almost 100-mile run at Vernon Boulevard just north of Borden Avenue and the west end of the LIRR Queens yards. It was built as a toll road by John Jackson in the 1850s and followed Indian trails east of what would be Flushing Meadows-Corona Park as Broadway, the North Hempstead Turnpike, and other names. By the 1890s the tolls were removed and by 1920, the road was called Northern Boulevard from Queens Plaza east to the city line in Little Neck. In subsequent years, the name Northern Boulevard has taken over for North Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County, while the entire road incorporating older roads in Nassau and Suffolk, is NYS 25A out to Calverton, NY, where it merges with NYS 25 and runs to the tip of Long Island at Orient Point.

West of Queens Plaza, the road is still called Jackson Avenue.

This brings us to the IND Subway which was built out to Queens, running mainly along Queens Boulevard, in the early 1930s. The Queens Plaza station is directly beneath the Queensboro Plaza elevated station and serves E, M and R trains going to Manhattan or east to Jamaica or Forest Hills.

As a rule IND stations are dominated by one color that is the same for each local station between express stations. Then, the color changes at the next express station. Along the Queens Boulevard line the stations between Queens Plaza and the next express stop, Roosevelt Avenue, are in purple tile. That means Queens Plaza should also be purple, but it’s had numerous renovations over the years, leaching its original colors out. However, on the mezzanine, there are directional signs pointing to staircases going to Jackson Avenue. There, you will indeed find some purple, along with a gold field and white lettering for the sign. The lettering is in a special font designed expressly for the IND, but the name of the designer is elusive.

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

12/18/19

1 comment

Jeff Blank December 18, 2019 - 11:57 pm

Speaking of font, what’s the font used on the car number placards from R-1 thru R-42? I always found the numbers to be different. Is this font available anywhere?

Reply

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