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New map showcases the beauty of NYC’s subway system

September 25, 2019

The architecture and design buffs at Blue Crow Media have done it again: Following in the footsteps of its Concrete New York and Art Deco New York maps, the publisher has released New York Subway Architecture and Design, a map that celebrates the beauty of the city’s subway system.


And if you don’t think that “beauty” and “subway” are words that go together, this map may make you think again. It was curated by Sandra Bloodworth, the director of MTA’s Arts & Design program, and Linda Tonn, the chief architect of New York City Transit, who have highlighted 45 stations from the more than 490 throughout the subway system. Each one is either artistically or architecturally significant, and cover various boroughs, design periods, and artistic movements.


“The New York City subway has traversed multiple design movements from the Beaux Art to the present and in the last three and a half decades has commissioned literally hundreds of contemporary artworks,” Bloodworth said in a statement. “The map showcases examples of these eye-catching artworks and the subway’s design evolution.”


The map includes stations like Bleecker Street, which opened in 1904 as part of the first subway line, and still has some of the 115-year-old signage designed by Heins & LaFarge. Other stations, such as 4th Avenue-9th Street in Brooklyn or 72nd Street in Manhattan, are highlighted for their architectural significance.


Artworks that are featured include Roy Lichtenstein’s colorful Times Square installation, which hangs in the Times Square-42nd Street transit hub, and Tom Otterness’s whimsical figurines found throughout the 14th Street-8th Avenue station.


If your interests are at the intersection of a Venn diagram of subways, architecture, and art—or if you need convincing that the subway is a repository of beautiful design—then pick up a copy of this map, available from Blue Crow Media for $10.


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