Photo: A larger 63rd St. station, semi-revealed


A few days ago, I found myself in the 63rd St. station at Lexington Ave. I don’t often end up there and hadn’t swung by to check in on the Second Ave. Subway construction in a while. With trains rumbling through a station stripped bare of its finishes, it’s quite a sight to see. Gone are the red faux-walls that hid the two-track platforms. Gone are the dropped ceilings that hid the arch of the tube. It is a subway station in progress.

I’d imagine a lot of riders are mystified as to what’s going on there. It was never immediately evident that the northern side of that station hid another set of functional tracks, but with the arrival of Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway, that station will have a radically different look. Q and F trains will stop across the platform from each other, and the platform levels at least will have a new look. The deep bore, as well, gives us a sense of the depths of the other SAS stations as well.

If subway work is your thing, stop by that station. With the bored walls out for all to see and gaps in the blue fence providing glimpses into the unused platforms, it’s the closest straphangers can get to a station in progress.

17 Responses to “Photo: A larger 63rd St. station, semi-revealed”

  1. John-2 says:

    Be nice if they took the opportunity to ditch the 1980s ‘look’ the station had and went with something that either fits in with the rest of the Sixth Ave./Broadway trunk lines, or with the three Second Avenue stations (actually I think it would be cool if the MTA went with the retro BMT Essex St.-Center Street loop look to the station, to match the B division’s original underground designs, but I know if they opt to go the traditional white tile route, the final result would end up looking more like South Ferry).

    • Jerrold says:

      I don’t know what is so terrible about that “1980’s look”.
      When they redid the 49th St. R station some years ago, it certainly looked better than it had looked before.
      Not everybody thinks red walls are ugly.

      • Jerrold says:

        I had meant to say “When they redid the 49th St. R station in that style some years ago……….”

        • John-2 says:

          I actually find the 49th Street smaller brick stones a better fit for that color scheme, in part because the small red bricks aren’t that uncommon a sight elsewhere. But 63rd reminds me more of Bowling Green, which was a 1970s disco-era kitsch swing-and-miss at creating a ‘new look’ MTA subway station.

          I will give it credit for being better looking than NYCTA’s “Grant Avenue Moderne” that started in the mid-50s and eventually evolved into the cinder block tile style for the BMT Broadway and Fourth Avenue stations, but it still has a cheaper look than the walls which boast the Vickers-style station tablets and wall designs (still can’t figure out why South Ferry didn’t get that when the new station was built).

          • Frank B. says:

            Do you mean “Grand Street Moderne”? That was a station the MTA built during construction of the Chrystie Street Connection that was built in a cheap “Brutalist” type of style.

            Still most likely the ugliest station in the system. It’s not in bad shape, but just damn ugly. Stations falling apart still have some charm left. Grand Street had zero charm from day one.

            • John-2 says:

              The TA also used that ‘look’ on many of the BMT platform extensions and on the IRT Broadway-7th Ave extensions and the 6 uptown between Bklyn Bridge and 14th St. Matching that with the 1904-1918 tile designs looked particularly ugly. Of that group, 57th and Sixth probably has held up the best, thought it seems to also have been the inspiration for the hyper-bland South Ferry station.

    • Jeff says:

      No thanks to the faux-classic look

      What NYC needs for its new stations is a modern 21-century look.

      • John-2 says:

        …which I’m sure will be what we’ll get with 72nd, 86th and 96th streets. And which I also hope stands the test of time better than Jamaica-Van Wyck, Sutphin and Pasons have over the 23 years since they opened (63rd, Roosevelt Island and 21st Queensbridge have fared better during the same period, but since the TA went away from the original system look in the 1950s, the attempts at modern design have had far more misses than hits).

  2. TP says:

    Do we have a track map/diagram of what the new station will look like? I never use this station and I’m confused about what’s going on.

  3. Duke says:

    I happened to be getting out at that station a few hours after the TBM broke through. The air was full of enough concrete dust to give you a headache.

  4. Bruce M says:

    Is there any chance that my prayers will be answered and the MTA will open up the 3rd Avenue entrance earlier than when the 2nd Avenue line opens in (maybe December, 2017)? How about 2014??? I live on York Avenue, and I long for the day when I will have even just one less block to schlep to reach a subway station.

  5. Matthias says:

    Love that photo of the blue wall engulfing the yellow sign.

    Had no idea there would be a 3rd Av entrance. That will be a good thing. Now if we could just get those escalators to move faster (or put in high-speed elevators)…

  6. Someone says:

    Not bad. Now the next step is to put in platform screen doors.

  7. W Broadway Local says:

    I could be wrong, but I invision this station being a very popular transfer due to the connection between the “F” and “Q”. The “Q” Avenue route is very attractive and both routes will allow passengers to avoid the crowds of the IRT and “E” lines. The “F” is the only one that goes to Roosevelt Island and it is the Queens Blvd Express. On the other hand, the “Q” will operate on the Far Eastside and is the Broadway Express. Although the “Q” will run local along Second Avenue it 1) operate like a east/west crosstown connecting to lines that the “F” could only dream of.

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