91st Street (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)

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91st Street
Former New York City Subway rapid transit station
91 Street abandoned vc.jpg
Station statistics
Address West 91st Street & Broadway
New York, NY 10025
Borough Manhattan
Locale Upper West Side
Coordinates 40°47′29″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7914°N 73.9741°W / 40.7914; -73.9741Coordinates: 40°47′29″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7914°N 73.9741°W / 40.7914; -73.9741
Line IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
Services None (abandoned)
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Other information
Opened October 27, 1904; 112 years ago (1904-10-27)[1]
Closed February 2, 1959; 58 years ago (1959-02-02)
Station succession
Next north 96th Street
Next south 86th Street

91st Street was a local station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. It opened in 1904 as part of the first IRT line, and it closed in 1959 due to platform lengthening at adjacent stations.


Operation of the first subway began on October 27, 1904, with the opening of all stations from City Hall to 145th Street on the West Side Branch.[2] A station was provided at 91st Street to avoid having 10 blocks without a subway station (86th Street to 96th Street).

The station's decline started to come about in 1948, platforms on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line from 103rd Street to 238th Street were lengthened to 514 feet (157 m) to allow trains of ten 51.4-foot-long (15.7 m) cars to stop at these stations; previously, platforms could only accommodate six-car local trains. The platform extensions were opened in stages through 1948.[3][4] A further circumstance that caused the 91st Street station's closure came in the late 1950s. A new service pattern was implemented on the line during peak hours, removing a rush-hour service bottleneck north of 96th Street by rerouting local trains up the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line to Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street and express trains to the Bronx and 145th Street via the IRT Lenox Avenue Line. On February 6, 1959, all Broadway trains became locals and all Lenox Avenue trains were expresses, eliminating the need to switch tracks.[5][6][7]

The rush-hour service could not be implemented until the platform extensions at stations on the line were completed. The original IRT stations north of Times Square could only fit five- or six-car trains. By 1958, the platform extensions at the local stations were nearly completed, but there were more problems with the platform extensions at the two express stations, 72nd Street and 96th Street. At 72nd Street, the track layout was simply changed, but at 96th Street, the local tracks and the outside walls had to be moved. A new mezzanine with stairways to the street was built between West 93rd Street and West 94th Street. Since the 86th Street and 96th Street stations had their platforms extended in order to accommodate 10-car trains, the 91st Street station was closed on February 2, 1959 because it could not have its platforms extended, since they would already be too close to the other two stations.[8][9][10] Advertisements from 1959 persisted for several years before the station walls were graffitied over.[10]

Station layout[edit]

G - Street Level
Platform Level
Side platform, not in service
Northbound local NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg (NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg late nights) does not stop here (96th Street)
Northbound express NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg do not stop here
Southbound express NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg do not stop here →
Southbound local NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg (NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg late nights) does not stop here (86th Street)
Side platform, not in service

The station's two abandoned side platforms are still visible from passing trains. The 91st Street station is fairly well preserved, with the exception of some litter and graffiti.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York Times, Our Subway Open: 150,000 Try It, October 28, 1904
  2. ^ James Blaine Walker, Fifty Years of Rapid Transit, 1864-1917, published 1918, pp. 162-191
  3. ^ Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949. 
  4. ^ "MORE LONG PLATFORMS; Five Subway Stations on IRT to Accommodate 10-Car Trains". The New York Times. 1948-07-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-27. 
  5. ^ "New Hi-Speed Locals 1959 New York City Transit Authority". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  6. ^ "WAGNER PRAISES MODERNIZED IRT; Mayor and Transit Authority Are Hailed as West Side Changes Take Effect". query.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  7. ^ "MODERNIZED IRT TO BOW 0N FEB. 6; West Side Line to Eliminate Bottleneck at 96th Street MODERNIZED IRT TO BOW ON FEB. 6". query.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  8. ^ Aciman, Andre (1999-01-08). "MY MANHATTAN; Next Stop: Subway's Past". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  9. ^ "High-Speed Broadway Local Service Began in 1959". The Bulletin. New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association. 52 (2). February 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2016 – via Issu. 
  10. ^ a b Raanan Geberer. "The Ghost Subway Station on 91st". StrausMedia. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]