157th Street station

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 157 Street
 "1" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
157th Street IRT Broadway 2.JPG
Northbound platform, looking south
Station statistics
AddressWest 157th Street & Broadway
New York, NY 10032[1]
LocaleWashington Heights
Coordinates40°50′02″N 73°56′38″W / 40.834°N 73.944°W / 40.834; -73.944Coordinates: 40°50′02″N 73°56′38″W / 40.834°N 73.944°W / 40.834; -73.944
DivisionA (IRT)[2]
Line   IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
Services   1 all times (all times)
TransitBus transport NYCT Bus: M4, M5, Bx6, Bx6 SBS (M3, M100, M101 on Amsterdam Avenue)
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedNovember 12, 1904 (117 years ago) (1904-11-12)
Station code303[4]
20193,739,786[5]Increase 6.4%
Rank134 out of 424[5]
Preceding station New York City Subway New York City Subway Following station
168th Street NYCS-bull-trans-1-Std.svg 145th Street
no service 96th Street
express; one-way operation
157th Street station is located in New York City Subway
157th Street station
157th Street station is located in New York City
157th Street station
157th Street station is located in New York
157th Street station
Track layout

Street map

Station service legend
Symbol Description
Stops all times Stops all times

The 157th Street station is a local station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Broadway and 157th Street in Washington Heights, Manhattan, it is served by the 1 train at all times.

The 157th Street station was constructed for the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) as part of the city's first subway line, which was approved in 1900. Construction of the line segment that includes 157th Street began on May 14 of the same year. The station held a soft opening on October 29, 1904, and officially opened two weeks later on November 12. The station's platforms were lengthened in 1948, and the station was renovated in the late 20th century.

The 157th Street station contains two side platforms and two tracks. The station was built with tile and mosaic decorations. The platforms contain exits to Broadway's intersection with 157th Street and not connected to each other within fare control.


Original station name mosaic


Planning for a subway line in New York City dates to 1864.[6]: 21  However, development of what would become the city's first subway line did not start until 1894, when the New York State Legislature authorized the Rapid Transit Act.[6]: 139–140  The subway plans were drawn up by a team of engineers led by William Barclay Parsons, chief engineer of the Rapid Transit Commission. It called for a subway line from New York City Hall in lower Manhattan to the Upper West Side, where two branches would lead north into the Bronx.[7]: 3  A plan was formally adopted in 1897,[6]: 148  and all legal conflicts concerning the route alignment were resolved near the end of 1899.[6]: 161 

The Rapid Transit Construction Company, organized by John B. McDonald and funded by August Belmont Jr., signed the initial Contract 1 with the Rapid Transit Commission in February 1900,[8] under which it would construct the subway and maintain a 50-year operating lease from the opening of the line.[6]: 165  In 1901, the firm of Heins & LaFarge was hired to design the underground stations.[7]: 4  Belmont incorporated the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) in April 1902 to operate the subway.[6]: 182 

The 157th Street station was constructed as part of the IRT's West Side Line (now the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) from 133rd Street to a point 100 feet (30 m) north of 182nd Street. Work on this section was conducted by L. B. McCabe & Brother, who started building the tunnel segment on May 14, 1900.[8] The section of the West Side Line around this station was originally planned as a two-track line, but in early 1901, was changed to a three-track structure to permit train storage in the center track.[9]: 93 [10]: 189–190  A third track was added directly north of 96th Street, immediately east of the originally planned two tracks.[11]: 14 


Operation of the first subway began on October 27, 1904, with the opening of the original 28 stations of the New York City Subway from City Hall to 145th Street on the West Side Branch.[6]: 186  Two days later, service was extended one stop to 157th Street, which at the time was still incomplete.[12] The station had been soft opened to allow passengers to travel to the YaleColumbia football game at the Polo Grounds.[13]

157th Street was formally opened on November 12, 1904, as the first extension to the subway. The station's opening had been delayed by two weeks because there was still painting and plastering work going on in the station. 157th Street thus became the terminal for West Side Line trains,[14] relieving congestion at 96th Street, which previously had been the terminus for the IRT's local trains.[15] On March 12, 1906, the IRT was extended from 157th Street to 221st Street.[16] Shuttle trains served the new extension terminating at 157th Street, meaning that passengers south of 157th Street wanting to go to stations on the extension had to transfer at 157th Street.[17] On May 30, 1906, express trains began running through to 221st Street, eliminating the need to transfer at this station.[18]

Station improvements[edit]

After the first subway line was completed in 1908,[19] the station was served by West Side local and express trains. Express trains began at South Ferry in Manhattan or Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and ended at 242nd Street in the Bronx. Local trains ran from City Hall to 242nd Street during rush hours, continuing south from City Hall to South Ferry at other times.[20] In 1918, the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line opened south of Times Square–42nd Street, thereby dividing the original line into an "H"-shaped system. The original subway north of Times Square thus became part of the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line. Local trains were sent to South Ferry, while express trains used the new Clark Street Tunnel to Brooklyn.[21]

To address overcrowding, in 1909, the New York Public Service Commission proposed lengthening platforms at stations along the original IRT subway.[22]: 168  As part of a modification to the IRT's construction contracts, made on January 18, 1910, the company was to lengthen station platforms to accommodate ten-car express and six-car local trains. In addition to $1.5 million (equivalent to $43.6 million in 2021) spent on platform lengthening, $500,000 (equivalent to $14,541,000 in 2021) was spent on building additional entrances and exits. It was anticipated that these improvements would increase capacity by 25 percent.[23]: 15  The northbound platform at the 157th Street station was extended 70 feet (21 m) to the south and 60 feet (18 m) to the north,[23]: 113  while the southbound platform was not lengthened.[23]: 106  Six-car local trains began operating in October 1910,[22]: 168  and ten-car express trains began running on the West Side Line on January 24, 1911.[22]: 168 [24] Subsequently, the station could accommodate six-car local trains, but ten-car trains could not open some of their doors.[25]

Work to construct new entrances at the station was 49 percent completed in Fiscal Year 1924.[26]

The city government took over the IRT's operations on June 12, 1940.[27][28] Platforms at IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line stations between 103rd Street and 238th Street, including those at 157th Street, were lengthened to 514 feet (157 m) between 1946 and 1948, allowing full ten-car express trains to stop at these stations.[25] A contract for the platform extensions at 157th Street and eight other stations on the line was awarded to Spencer, White & Prentis Inc. in October 1946.[29] The platform extensions at these stations were opened in stages. On April 6, 1948, the platform extension at 157th Street opened.[25][30] At the same time, the IRT routes were given numbered designations with the introduction of "R-type" rolling stock, which contained rollsigns with numbered designations for each service. [31] The route to 242nd Street became known as the 1.[32] In 1959, all 1 trains became local.[33]

Station layout[edit]

G Street level Entrance/exit
Platform level
Side platform
Northbound "1" train toward 242nd Street (168th Street)
Southbound "1" train toward South Ferry (145th Street)
(No regular service (express track): 96th Street)
Side platform
Ceramic cartouche with number "157"

This station was part of the original subway, and has two side platforms and two tracks.[34] The 1 stops here at all times.[35]

The platforms were originally 350 feet (110 m) long, as at other stations north of 96th Street,[7]: 4 [36]: 8  but as a result of the 1948 platform extension, became 520 feet (160 m) long.[25] The platform extensions are at the rear ends of the original platforms: the southbound platform was extended northward and the northbound platform was extended southward.[36]: 40 


As with other stations built as part of the original IRT, the station was constructed using a cut-and-cover method.[37]: 237  The tunnel is covered by a "U"-shaped trough that contains utility pipes and wires. The bottom of this trough contains a foundation of concrete no less than 4 inches (100 mm) thick.[36]: 9  Each platform consists of 3-inch-thick (7.6 cm) concrete slabs, beneath which are drainage basins. The original platforms contain I-beam columns spaced every 15 feet (4.6 m). Additional columns between the tracks, spaced every 5 feet (1.5 m), support the jack-arched concrete station roofs.[7]: 4 [36]: 9  The tiled columns that run along the entire length and contain "157" painted in black.[38] Some of the columns between the tracks have "157" signs in black lettering on white borders.[39] There is a 1-inch (25 mm) gap between the trough wall and the platform walls, which are made of 4-inch (100 mm)-thick brick covered over by a tiled finish.[36]: 9 

The decorative scheme consists of blue/green tile tablets; buff tile bands; a green terracotta cornice; and buff terracotta plaques.[36]: 40  The mosaic tiles at all original IRT stations were manufactured by the American Encaustic Tile Company, which subcontracted the installations at each station.[36]: 31  The decorative work was performed by tile contractor Manhattan Glass Tile Company and terracotta contractor Atlantic Terra Cotta Company.[36]: 40  The platforms contain their original trim line that includes "157" mosaics and name tablets reading "157TH ST." There are also directional signs on the tiles containing white lettering on a black background and brown border.[40]

Downtown entrances


Each platform has one same-level fare control area near the middle. Both are fully staffed, containing a turnstile bank and token booth, and each has two street stairs. The northbound side's two exits lead to the southeast corner of 157th Street and Broadway, and the southbound side's two exits lead to the northwest corner of the intersection. There are no crossovers or crossunders to allow free transfers between directions. Only the South Ferry-bound side token booth is staffed.[41]


  1. ^ "Borough of Manhattan, New York City". Government of New York City. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  2. ^ "Glossary". Second Avenue Subway Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) (PDF). Vol. 1. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 4, 2003. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2021. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "Manhattan Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Walker, James Blaine (1918). Fifty Years of Rapid Transit — 1864 to 1917. New York, N.Y.: Law Printing. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d "Interborough Rapid Transit System, Underground Interior" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. October 23, 1979. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Report of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners for the City of New York For The Year Ending December 31, 1904 Accompanied By Reports of the Chief Engineer and of the Auditor. Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners. 1905. pp. 229–236.
  9. ^ Report of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners For And In The City of New York Up to December 31, 1901. Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners. 1902.
  10. ^ Report of the Public Service Commission For The First District of the State of New York For The Year Ending December 31, 1909. Albany: Public Service Commission. 1910.
  11. ^ "New York City's Subway Turns 100" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 47 (10). October 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (1995). Under the Sidewalks of New York: The Story of the Greatest Subway System in the World. Fordham Univ Press. ISBN 9780823216185.
  13. ^ "Subway On East Side Will Be Opened Soon: New Switching Station on West Side Nearly ready, too - Football Trains On Today" (PDF). The New York Times. November 12, 1904. p. 16. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  14. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide. F. W. Dodge Corporation. 1904.
  15. ^ "Some Subway "Ifs" and "Don'ts"". The New York Times. October 27, 1904. p. 9. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 4, 2021 – via newspapers.com open access.
  16. ^ "Farthest North in Town by the Interborough" (PDF). The New York Times. January 14, 1907. p. 18.
  17. ^ Interborough Rapid Transit Company (1906). Subway Division - New York City (Map).
  18. ^ "Express to 221st Street: Will Run In the Subway To-day–New 181st Street Station Ready" (PDF). The New York Times. May 30, 1906. p. 1.
  19. ^ "Our First Subway Completed At Last — Opening of the Van Cortlandt Extension Finishes System Begun in 1900 — The Job Cost $60,000,000 — A Twenty-Mile Ride from Brooklyn to 242d Street for a Nickel Is Possible Now". The New York Times. August 2, 1908. p. 10. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1916. p. 119.
  21. ^ "Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph". The New York Times. August 2, 1918. p. 1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  22. ^ a b c Hood, Clifton (1978). "The Impact of the IRT in New York City" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. pp. 146–207 (PDF pp. 147–208). Retrieved December 20, 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  23. ^ a b c Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York For The Year Ending December 31, 1910. Public Service Commission. 1911.
  24. ^ "Ten-car Trains in Subway to-day; New Service Begins on Lenox Av. Line and Will Be Extended to Broadway To-morrow". The New York Times. January 23, 1911. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949. hdl:2027/mdp.39015023094926.
  26. ^ 1923-1924 Annual Report of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company For The Year Ended June 30, 1924. Interborough Rapid Transit Company. 1924. p. 13.
  27. ^ "City Transit Unity Is Now a Reality; Title to I.R.T. Lines Passes to Municipality, Ending 19-Year Campaign". The New York Times. June 13, 1940. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 7, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  28. ^ "Transit Unification Completed As City Takes Over I. R. T. Lines: Systems Come Under Single Control After Efforts Begun in 1921; Mayor Is Jubilant at City Hall Ceremony Recalling 1904 Celebration". New York Herald Tribune. June 13, 1940. p. 25. ProQuest 1248134780.
  29. ^ Crowell, Paul (October 11, 1946). "Improvement Costs Voted for Subway; Board of Estimate Appropriates $31,291,000 for New Cars and Station Lengthening" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  30. ^ "More Long Platforms – Five Subway Stations on IRT to Accommodate 10-Car Trains". The New York Times. July 10, 1948. p. 8. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  31. ^ Brown, Nicole (May 17, 2019). "How did the MTA subway lines get their letter or number? NYCurious". amNewYork. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  32. ^ Friedlander, Alex; Lonto, Arthur; Raudenbush, Henry (April 1960). "A Summary of Services on the IRT Division, NYCTA" (PDF). New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 3 (1): 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  33. ^ "Wagner Praises Modernized IRT — Mayor and Transit Authority Are Hailed as West Side Changes Take Effect". The New York Times. February 7, 1959. p. 21. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  34. ^ Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  35. ^ "1 Subway Timetable, Effective December 19, 2021". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h Framberger, David J. (1978). "Architectural Designs for New York's First Subway" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. pp. 1–46 (PDF pp. 367–412). Retrieved December 20, 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  37. ^ Scott, Charles (1978). "Design and Construction of the IRT: Civil Engineering" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. pp. 208–282 (PDF pp. 209–283). Retrieved December 20, 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  38. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 24, 2008). "Tiled columns that are extremely frequent line the platform at 157 Street". subwaynut.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  39. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 24, 2008). "157 signs on the columns between the two tracks there". subwaynut.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  40. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 24, 2008). "A 157th Street name tablet in the extension portion of the station, a very IND era exit sign with an arrow for the only exit to 157th St is underneath it". subwaynut.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  41. ^ "157th Street Neighborhood Map". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2021.

External links[edit]