Zoo York Wall

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The Zoo York Wall was a graffiti wall in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, where subway writers and other street artists "made their marks" in the early-70s. It was a temporary wall, erected in 1971 by the New York City Transit Authority to block unauthorized entry into the site of a new subway line running underneath the Central Park Zoo.

Its name originates from the subway tunnel it was supposed to guard, then called the "Zoo York Tunnel," which still runs below the area of the Central Park Zoo. During its construction (1971-1973), the tunnel provided a subterranean gathering place for very early subway artists who hung around together in Central Park, and was named Zoo York by ALI, founder of the SOUL ARTISTS graffiti crew. The name came about because it was in a zoo in New York, hence "Zoo York".

Armored with polished aluminum in the futile hope of resisting spray-paint and permanent marker ink, the wall did little to dissuade teenage graffiti writers from climbing over and descending into the tunnel during its construction. There, extensions of both the BMT Broadway line (N Q R trains) and IND Sixth Avenue line (B D F M trains) merged below Central Park on two sub-levels, then curved underneath the zoo grounds and out under Fifth Avenue to the east, connecting there to the new 63rd Street Line (F train). Upon completion of the subway project in 1973, the "Zoo York Wall" was torn down.

See also[edit]


  • Kurlansky, Mervyn; Naar, John (1974). The Faith of Graffiti. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc.