Home Fulton Street Before 9/11, Cortlandt St.’s southbound side opens

Before 9/11, Cortlandt St.’s southbound side opens

by Benjamin Kabak

Sheldon Silver thanks the MTA for opening up the Cortlandt Street station before the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Flanked by the usual array of politicians and authority officials, MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder cut the ribbon on the southbound platform of the R train stop at Cortlandt St. in Lower Manhattan this afternoon. By opening the station today, the MTA fulfilled a promise made to the Lower Manhattan community to restore service to the station prior to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. As the southbound platform right now has no direct access to the street, straphangers must use the open par tof the Dey St. underpass to exit on the northern side, and the MTA will restore the southbound exit once construction aboveground is complete.

“We made a commitment to have this platform open before the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and today we are here to fulfill that commitment,” Walder said. “I’m so proud that the MTA is able to participate in another vital milestone in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. Our employees were first responders on that tragic day; we worked tirelessly to bring the subway back just months after the attack and every day since we have been rebuilding and helping the city come back stronger than ever.”

For the past ten years, the Cortlandt Street BMT station has been amidst a construction zone. The station was badly damaged during the attacks, and station was shuttered until September 15, 2002. It remained opened until August 20, 2005 when work on the Dey Street Passageway forced its closure. Right now, the underpass linking the northbound and southbound platforms is open but bounded by a false wall. Once the Dey St. Passageway is fully complete, that wall will be removed.

The other Cortlandt St. station impacted by the September 11 attacks will remain closed for now. The 1 train hasn’t stopped at its Cortlandt St. in ten years, but due to ongoing Port Authority work at the World Trade Center site, that station will remain closed indefinitely.

Along the BMT, the northbound platform opened in November of 2009, and the MTA and Port Authority spent another $20 million to reopen the southbound platform. Included in the reopened station are a variety of murals by Margie Hughto entitled “Trade, Treasure and Travel.” The murals were added to the station in 1997 and were undamaged in the attacks. Many of them have been restored to Cortlandt St., and the remaining panels will appear in the Dey St. Passageway.

For more scenes from the opening, click through to view the slideshow.

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Jerrold September 6, 2011 - 5:47 pm

Ben, something that I am not clear about:
If there is no “direct access” to the street, and the underpass to the northbound side is walled off for now, then WHERE IS the entrance/exit that can be used at thsi time?

Benjamin Kabak September 6, 2011 - 5:50 pm

The underpass is open, but the access to the Dey St. Passageway is walled off since that part of the Fulton St. Transit Center isn’t open yet.

Jerrold September 6, 2011 - 7:29 pm

OK, thanks Ben!

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 7:19 pm

Inch by inch things are comeing back. Great new!s

Andrew September 6, 2011 - 10:34 pm

Coming back from what? This station was fully reopened in September 2002. (It was then temporarily closed in 2005 for FSTC construction.)

Eric F. September 7, 2011 - 8:43 am

EXACTLY!!!! Not only that, the 2005 closure was supposed to be a for just a few months (there were signs to this effect). A few months became a few more months, and then became what turned out to be a 6 year closure with basically no explanation. I understand that there are complex construction staging issues downtown, and if the MTA simply shuttered the 1 line for a year to speed construction, it would be fine with me, but the lack of communication and the 6 year deadline overrun for this re-opening is incredibly frustrating.

Jerrold September 7, 2011 - 2:36 pm

This is just what I also have been pointing out all along.
In this town, the right hand never knows what the left hand is doing.

Just like in the 1970’s when they built the fancy Heckscher playground in Central Park, then they had to tear it up for the building of the tunnel linking the BMT on Seventh Ave. to the new 63rd St. tunnel under the park. Then they had to rebuild that playground from scratch.

ALSO, notice how the “temporary” WTC PATH station long ago became not so temporary any more.

Kai B September 7, 2011 - 3:49 pm

“ALSO, notice how the “temporary” WTC PATH station long ago became not so temporary any more.”

Aside from being a little boxy, it’s not bad at all. And it has something like 11 escalators, probably more than its permanent replacement down the road.

Andrew September 7, 2011 - 10:06 pm

It’s in a terrible location. Have you seen the swarms of people walking southeast every morning?

Miles Bader September 6, 2011 - 8:54 pm

Hmm, wait, isn’t Sheldon Silver half the problem?

Harold September 7, 2011 - 11:38 am

Half the problem, if not more. Hope Jay Walder gave Sheldon Silver a piece of his mind. Sheldon silver is a crook, and as one of the two most powerful politicians in the state is responsible for a lot of the mess the state is in. Silver never looks out for the common good, but rather makes decisions based on political expediency and horse trading.

Anon September 6, 2011 - 9:08 pm

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Anon September 6, 2011 - 9:31 pm

FEMA continued

Before a Nuclear Blast

To prepare for a nuclear blast, you should do the following:

Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters. If none have been designated, make your own list of potential shelters near your home, workplace, and school. These places would include basements or the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings, as well as subways and tunnels.



Eric F. September 7, 2011 - 8:45 am

Off topic, but I was sort of curious as to whether the new South Ferry Station, which seems prone to leaking, had any trouble during Irene. Anyone know?

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines September 7, 2011 - 8:59 am

[…] Southbound Cortlandt Street Station Reopens Before 9/11 Anniversary (Post, Kabak) […]

Al D September 7, 2011 - 9:44 am

They couldn’t send a R160?

Cortlandt Street Fully Reopened an hour early (Upload) and two missing pieces of artwork | Leave No Station Unphotographed September 7, 2011 - 12:23 pm

[…] of the press (I am not) down to the underpass where I later learned the speeches were taking place (Second Avenue Sagas’ coverage again). At that point I decided I didn’t feel like waiting thinking it would open to the general […]

Kamil Choudhury September 7, 2011 - 2:36 pm

Do they know when the southbound platform will be made available from street level?


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