The Long Abandoned City Hall Subway Station in New York

The City Hall station was meant to be the crown jewel in the city’s new subway system. It was opened in 1904 as the southern terminal of the Manhattan Main Line (which is now part of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line). Located beneath the public area in front of City Hall, the station has always been considered the most beautiful in the city.

Using an unusually luxurious style of architecture along with colored glass tile work, beautiful skylights and dignified brass chandeliers, the station was undoubtedly unique. Although it was the focus of the subway system groundbreaking ceremony in 1904, City Hall station eventually fell into disuse.

By 1945, only around 600 people per day were being served by the elegantly appointed station. As the trains grew longer and added doors in the middle of the cars, the City Hall platforms were no longer suitable. There were now unsafe gaps between the train cars and the platform; in other stations, the platforms were rebuilt or extended, but this wasn’t an option in the tightly-curved City Hall station.

Rather than undertaking a very costly renovation of the station which was hardly used by the public, the city decided to close it down. The station’s last day of service was December 31, 1945.

Recently, the MTA changed the rules to allow passengers to ride through the gorgeous City Hall station. Although the station is still closed to passengers, you can get a glimpse of the former glory of this interesting piece of New York history by sitting back and relaxing while the number 6 makes it loop.

Personal Space

Prompted by halfawake. Thanks dearie! I hope this is sort of what you wanted.


It’s rush hour in the subway station of New York City, people are shoulder to shoulder as they hurry home or to dinner. The hum of their chatter is no quieter than a dull roar, heat rises in tight train chambers as bodies clutter together.
“We should have taken a taxi.” Beca grumbles. She huffs as she’s jostled for the fifth time.
“Ah, but mein schatz, you do not get the cultural experience from a taxi.” Luisa says from behind her, her breath warming Beca’s ear. A man’s hacking cough irritates her on the other.
“You don’t get sick from airborne diseases in a taxi either.” She says, rubbing her ear off on her shoulder.
Luisa shrugs.
“I do not get sick.”
“Pieter would beg to differ.” Beca says, a smirk spreading across her features as she remembers Pieter’s long regalement of Luisa’s cold.
Luisa scoffs, though the lightest shade of pink tinges her cheeks.
“Pieter never begs, and he over exaggerates.” Beca snickers, Luisa looks down. She smirks when she sees an interesting picture.
“Kleine maus, I do not wish to alarm you, but your hand is currently attached to someone’s rear.” Beca looks down.
It’s true.
In the crowded train, she hadn’t realized the back of her hand’s thoroughly pressed into a lady’s backside.
She pulls the offending hand to herself with a quick snap. It’s too fast, and it catches the woman’s attention. Green eyes stare at Beca curiously, she blushes, mouthing sorry. The head turns back.
“You touched the butt.” Luisa teases.
“What?” Beca asks.
“Finding Nemo quote.”
“You’ve seen Finding Nemo?” The pink cheeks darken further.
“It was the only film playing on a late night flight. I could not sleep.”
“Of course you couldn’t, otherwise you’d have missed an animated movie about fish…you nerd.” Luisa ignores the jibe, checking her watch before frowning.
“I hope we are not late, I do not want to miss the beginning of the show.”
“What are we seeing again?” Beca asks.
“I didn’t know you were a Broadway nerd too.” She says with a teasing chuckle, Luisa just smiles.
“I do love musicals, live theatre gives me such a rush. I was in a German production of the musical we’re seeing tonight.”
“Really?” Beca perks up, suddenly enthused. “Who did you play?”
“Roxie Hart.”
“Cool.” Beca nods, her head bobbing for too long a time.
“You have no idea who that is.” Luisa guesses.
“Not a clue.”
“Well once we are there, I shall give you the clue. I want you to enjoy this.”
“I’d enjoy it more if we’d taken a taxi.” Beca mutters. Luisa leans closer.
“You are touching the butt again. This is the fourth time now.”
Beca’s hand jerks back again, the green eyes merely glance this time. Luisa is more than amused.
“Why didn’t you tell me the two other times?!” Beca hisses.
“Because we were in the middle of a conversation, it is rude to interrupt.”
“It’s ruder to let me accidentally turn into a perv!”
“Perhaps, but the nice woman did not seem to mind.” Luisa winks at that. If Beca could melt from burning humiliation, she’d already be a puddle on the sticky subway floor.
“Keep your voice down, she could be listening.” Beca whisper shouts, Luisa shrugs a shoulder.
“She’s listening to music, it’s pretty good.”
Beca pauses.
The woman’s chestnut hair is shoulder length, but Beca can see the earbuds. She realizes the music she’d been hearing this whole ride wasn’t actually the subway’s overhead speakers, but the woman’s phone playlist.
“You should ask her for a number.” Luisa suggests.
“That’s not- I’m not- you’re enjoying this way too much.” Beca stutters, her poor mind too flustered and embarrassed to commit to a clever reply.
“You should- ah how do they say, oh yes- you really should buy the lady a drink first before feeling her all the way up.”
“It’s ‘feel her up’- and I’m not doing that!” Beca’s voice rises in agitation, Luisa shushes her before heads turn.
“Apologies, maus. I forgot how feisty you can be. But in all the seriousness,” Luisa says in a tone that’s anything but. “Should I be jealous?”
Beca swats her arm, Luisa merely laughs.
“I can’t believe my girlfriend is my wingman.” Beca mumbles.
“Well I want you to know all the options, just in case you ever bore of me.” Luisa’s tone is flippant and playful, but Beca can hear the barest hint of worry.
It pierce Beca’s heart but she keeps her voice light, knowing that Luisa hates showing vulnerability and wants anything but pity.
“I’m afraid you’re gonna be stuck with me for a very long time. I hope you don’t mind.”
Luisa smiles, it’s unexpectedly warm and slow and soft. A sunrise of happiness, affection, and white teeth.
“Kleine maus, I do not mind at all.”
Beca wants to kiss her.
The train stops.
“We’re here, let’s go.” Luisa says, excitement lifting her voice, Beca nods with enthusiasm.
Bodies pile out, she breathes out in relief as she’s no longer crammed into other people.
“Let’s go see Chicago.” She says. Luisa grins.
“And maybe on the way back you’ll find another butt to touch.”
Luisa walks forward, and Beca finally finds the perfect response.
She pinches the butt.
“Hey!” Luisa yelps, barely suppressing a screech.
Beca is now the one to wink, flirtatious confidence in her smile.
“Found one.”