181st Street (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)

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181st Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station
181st Street Bridge Crossover (Bway-7th Avenue).JPG
Southern half of the platforms currently under renovation after the 2009 ceiling collapse
Station statistics
Address West 181st Street & Saint Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10033
Borough Manhattan
Locale Washington Heights
Coordinates 40°50′56″N 73°56′02″W / 40.849°N 73.934°W / 40.849; -73.934Coordinates: 40°50′56″N 73°56′02″W / 40.849°N 73.934°W / 40.849; -73.934
Division A (IRT)
Line       IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Services       1 all times (all times)
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened March 16, 1906; 109 years ago (1906-03-16)
Passengers (2014) 3,751,020[1]Increase 3.9%
Rank 138 out of 421
Station succession
Next north 191st Street: 1 all times
Next south 168th Street: 1 all times

181st Street Subway Station (IRT)
MPS New York City Subway System MPS
NRHP Reference # 05000224[2]
Added to NRHP March 30, 2005

181st Street is a local station on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of St. Nicholas Avenue and 181st Street in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, it is served by the 1 train at all times.

This station is 120 feet below the surface, has four elevators, and a bridge connecting the two side platforms. There is only a set of emergency stairs for emergency egress in case of a fire, causing all riders to take an elevator at all times. The station serves Yeshiva University and the George Washington Bridge.

The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[2] As part of the Multiple Property Submission of the Historic Resources of the New York City Subway System, the 181st Street Station is significant in the areas of transportation, community planning, engineering, and architectural design.

The elevators to the platforms still utilize elevator operators, one of the only stations in the system to do so.[3]

Station layout[edit]

G Street level Exit/Entrance
(Elevators in mezzanine. Note: Platforms and street level are not accessible)
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
Platform level
Side platform, doors open on the right
Northbound NYCS 1 toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (191st Street)
Southbound NYCS 1 toward South Ferry (168th Street)
Side platform, doors open on the right

Ceiling collapse[edit]

Street stair

On Sunday, August 16, 2009 at around 10:30 pm, a 25-foot section of the bricks lining the roof of the station collapsed onto both uptown and downtown tracks and platforms. It fell from the 35 foot high curved ceiling. Nobody was injured at the time of the incident. This caused suspension of the 1 service between 168th Street and Dyckman Street stations in both directions for eight days. The MTA was providing free shuttle bus service between 168th Street and Dyckman for that period. The cause of the collapse is under investigation.[4][5] Full end-to-end service on the 1 was restored in the morning of Monday, August 24, 2009, except that trains were skipping the 181st Street station.[5] The station reopened to passengers on August 31, 2009.[6][7]

There was also a partial ceiling collapse at the same station in 2007, according to Judith M. Kunoff, Chief Architect for the NYC Transit Authority.[8]

According to NY1, the repairs to the station cost $30 million and did not start until the end of 2012.[9]

Station view before the 2009 ceiling collapse


  1. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 
  2. ^ a b "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ The Subway’s Elevator Operators, a Reassuring Amenity of Another Era. By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM. Published: April 28, 2011. The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Subway station repairs to take days". WABC-TV news. August 18, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Grynbaum, Michael M. (August 24, 2009). "Service on No. 1 Subway Line Is Largely Restored". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  6. ^ "No. 1 Line Service Restored to 181st Street". Metropolitan Transit Authority. August 30, 2009. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Subway Misery Has Express Stop At 181st Street". NY1. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ Dwyer, Jim (August 18, 2009). "Subway Station Ceilings Were Built to Last, but Not Forever". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ Redwine, Tina (October 11, 2011). "Washington Heights Straphangers Annoyed At Long-Delayed Subway Station Repairs". NY1. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to 181st Street (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line) at Wikimedia Commons