Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
|New York City Subway rapid transit station|
|Address||Astor Place & Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
|Locale||NoHo / East Village|
|Line||IRT Lexington Avenue Line|
|Services||4 (late nights)
6 (all times) <6> (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
|Transit connections||NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M8|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||October 27, 1904 |
|Former/other names||Astor Place – Cooper Union
|Passengers (2014)||5,751,688 0.4%|
|Rank||75 out of 421|
|Next north||14th Street – Union Square: 4 6 <6>|
|Next south||Bleecker Street: 4 6 <6>|
Astor Place, also called Astor Place – Cooper Union on signs, is a local station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Completed in 1904, it is one of the original twenty-eight stations in the system. Located at the intersection of Lafayette Street, Eighth Street, Fourth Avenue, Cooper Square, and Astor Place between the East Village and NoHo, it is served by the 6 train at all times, the <6> train during weekday in peak direction and by the 4 train during late nights. The station is on the List of Registered Historic Places in New York.
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Northbound local||← toward Pelham Bay Park ( toward Parkchester rush hours and middays) (14th Street – Union Square)
← toward Woodlawn late nights (14th Street – Union Square)
|Northbound express||← do not stop here|
|Southbound express||→ do not stop here →|
|Southbound local||→ toward Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall ( toward New Lots Avenue late nights) (Bleecker Street) →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
Astor Place is a local station with four tracks and two side platforms. The fare control is at platform level, and the underpass connecting northbound and southbound sides was removed in the 1980s. The northbound platform contains a news and candy stand, which replaced the original public women's lavatory. On the southbound side, the station has a department store entrance into a K-Mart. This store was originally constructed in 1868 as an A. T. Stewart. It had changed ownership and was a Wanamaker's when the station was constructed. The heavy brick-faced square columns on the downtown platform support the store above. The northern building of Wanamaker's store, but not the southern building above, burned in the 1950s. Octagonal windows on the brick wall of the platform were the store's showcases.
Plaques of beavers are located on the walls, in honor of John Jacob Astor's fortune derived from the beaver-pelt trade. The plaques, as well as name tablets, were made by the Grueby Faience Company in 1904. The station also has untitled porcelain on steel murals, made by Cooper Union alumnus Milton Glaser in 1986. During the renovation, the magnificent maroon and gold tile Cooper Union signs underneath the tile Astor Place signs were destroyed. Black and white pillar signs read Astor Place on one pillar, then Cooper Union on the next.
The station underwent renovation in 1986. In addition to the famous glazed ceramic beaver plaques, new porcelain street artwork was installed. There was an underpass between the uptown and downtown sides, but it was closed and covered up in the 1980s renovation. The access hatch to the underpass is visible behind the northbound token booth inside the fare control area.
Entrances and exits
The station has two entrances, one in each direction. The southbound platform's entrance is at the southwest corner of Astor Place and Lafayette Street, while the northbound platform's entrance is in the traffic island bounded by Fourth Avenue, Lafayette Street, and Eighth Street. There is a reproduction of an IRT entry kiosk on the street level over the northbound entrance.
Points of interest
The station itself is a point of local interest, as it is on the List of Registered Historic Places in New York. Several other sites of historical and cultural importance located near the station. The New York University and Cooper Union are both located nearby. Visitors to the Astor Place area often rotate the Alamo Cube, at street level above the tail end of the northbound platform. A tiled-up doorway, on southwest wall behind the southbound token booth, sports a lintel proclaiming "Clinton Hall". This doorway once led to the New York Mercantile Library in the former Astor Opera House. Other points of interest include:
- McSorley's Old Ale House
- Cooper Union New Academic Building
- Cooper Square Hotel
- Public Theater (Astor Library)
- Colonnade Row / Astor Place Theatre (Blue Man Group)
- Kmart (former Wanamaker Department Store Annex)
- Hamilton Fish House
Faience plaque with beaver, by Heins & LaFarge / Grueby Faience Company, 1904. The Astor fortune was based on trading beaver pelts
- New York Times, Our Subway Open: 150,000 Try It, October 28, 1904
- "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
- "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- "1982 Photo of Astor Place Signage". Cable (Cooper Union Yearbook). 1982. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- "MTA Neighborhood Maps: East Village" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- Clinton Hall at Astor Place (Forgotten New York)
- Lee Stokey. Subway Ceramics : A History and Iconography. 1994. ISBN 978-0-9635486-1-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line).|
- nycsubway.org—IRT East Side Line: Astor Place
- nycsubway.org — Untitled Artwork by Milton Glaser (1986)
- Station Reporter — 6 Train
- Forgotten NY: Subways and Trains — Original 28 IRT subway stations
- MTA's Arts For Transit — Astor Place (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
- Fourth Avenue entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Lafayette Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Platforms from Google Maps Street View
- Lobby from Google Maps Street View