Houston Street station (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)

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 Houston Street
 "1" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Houston Street IRT 002.JPG
Uptown platform
Station statistics
AddressWest Houston Street & Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
LocaleGreenwich Village, West Village
Coordinates40°43′43″N 74°00′19″W / 40.728592°N 74.005322°W / 40.728592; -74.005322Coordinates: 40°43′43″N 74°00′19″W / 40.728592°N 74.005322°W / 40.728592; -74.005322
DivisionA (IRT)
Line      IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
Services      1 all times (all times)
      2 late nights (late nights)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M20, M21
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedJuly 1, 1918; 101 years ago (1918-07-01)
Station code324[1]
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[2]
OMNY acceptedYes
Opposite-direction transfer availableNo
Passengers (2018)4,488,886[3]Increase 3.8%
Rank106 out of 424
Station succession
Next northChristopher Street–Sheridan Square: 1 all times2 late nights
Next southCanal Street: 1 all times2 late nights

Houston Street is a local station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at West Houston and Varick Streets in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, it is served by the 1 train at all times, and by the 2 train during late nights.


Name Tablet and trim line

The Dual Contracts, which were signed on March 19, 1913, were contracts for the construction and/or rehabilitation and operation of rapid transit lines in the City of New York. The contracts were "dual" in that they were signed between the City and two separate private companies (the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company), all working together to make the construction of the Dual Contracts possible. The Dual Contracts promised the construction of several lines in Brooklyn. As part of Contract 4, the IRT agreed to build a branch of the original subway line south down Seventh Avenue, Varick Street, and West Broadway to serve the West Side of Manhattan.[4][5][6]

Directional and trim line tablets

The construction of this line, in conjunction with the construction of the Lexington Avenue Line, would change the operations of the IRT system. Instead of having trains go via Broadway, turning onto 42nd Street, before finally turning onto Park Avenue, there would be two trunk lines connected by the 42nd Street Shuttle. The system would be changed from looking like a "Z" system on a map to an "H" system. One trunk would run via the new Lexington Avenue Line down Park Avenue, and the other trunk would run via the new Seventh Avenue Line up Broadway. In order for the line to continue down Varick Street and West Broadway, these streets needed to be widened, and two new streets were built, the Seventh Avenue Extension and the Varick Street Extension.[7] It was predicted that the subway extension would lead to the growth of the Lower West Side, and to neighborhoods such as Chelsea and Greenwich Village.[8][9]

Houston Street opened as the line was extended south to South Ferry from 34th Street–Penn Station on July 1, 1918, and was served by a shuttle.[10] The new "H" system was implemented on August 1, 1918, joining the two halves of the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and sending all West Side trains south from Times Square.[11] An immediate result of the switch was the need to transfer using the 42nd Street Shuttle. The completion of the "H" system doubled the capacity of the IRT system.[12]

Station layout[edit]

Track layout
G Street Level Exit/Entrance
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound local "1" train toward Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street (Christopher Street–Sheridan Square)
"2" train toward 241st Street late nights (Christopher Street–Sheridan Square)
Northbound express "2" train "3" train do not stop here
Southbound express "2" train "3" train do not stop here →
Southbound local "1" train toward South Ferry (Canal Street)
"2" train toward Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College late nights (Canal Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This underground station has two side platforms and four tracks. The two center tracks are at a lower elevation from the local tracks and used by the 2 and 3 express trains during daytime hours.

Both platforms have golden mosaic trim lines with blue and green borders and "H" tablets on a light blue background at regular intervals. The large name tablets read "HOUSTON ST." in gold Times New Roman font on dark blue background and gold border. There are also directional tablets in the same style. Yellow i-beam columns lining run along both platforms at regular intervals with alternating ones having the standard black name plate with white Helvetica lettering.

The station's artwork, installed during a 1994 in-house renovation, is entitled Platform Diving by Deborah Brown. It consists of murals on both platforms depicting sea creatures in an underwater subway system.

Stairs for the uptown platform.


All fare control areas in this station are at platform level and there are no crossovers or crossunders, though evidence of a sealed-up crossunder is present at the north end by the main fare control areas. On both sides, a turnstile bank leads to a two staircases going up to West Houston and Varick Streets, either western corners on the South Ferry-bound side and either eastern corners on the Bronx-bound side. Only the Bronx-bound side has a token booth, however. The South Ferry-bound side is unstaffed.[13]

Both platforms have an unstaffed secondary fare control area towards their south ends. Two high entry/exit turnstiles and one exit-only turnstile leads to two staircases going up to Varick and King Streets, either western corners on the South Ferry-bound side and either eastern corners on the Bronx-bound side.[13]


  1. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Terms and Conditions of Dual System Contracts". nycsubway.org. Public Service Commission. March 19, 1913. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Dual System of Rapid Transit (1912)". nycsubway.org. Public Service Commission. September 1912. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Most Recent Map of the Dual Subway System WhIch Shows How Brooklyn Borough Is Favored In New Transit Lines". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 9, 1917. p. 37. Retrieved August 23, 2016 – via Brooklyn Newspapers.
  7. ^ Engineering News-record. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. 1916.
  8. ^ Whitney, Travis H. (March 10, 1918). "The Seventh and Lexington Avenue Subways Will Revive Dormant Sections — Change in Operation That Will Transform Original Four-Tracked Subway Into Two Four-Tracked Systems and Double Present Capacity of the Interborough" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 12. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "Public Service Commission Fixes July 15 For Opening of The New Seventh and Lexington Avenue Subway Lines — Will Afford Better Service and Less Crowding — Shuttle Service for Forty-Second Street — How the Various Lines of the Dual System Are Grouped for Operation and List of Stations on All Lines" (PDF). The New York Times. May 19, 1918. p. 32. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Open New Subway to Regular Traffic — First Train on Seventh Avenue Line Carries Mayor and Other Officials — To Serve Lower West Side — Whitney Predicts an Awakening of the District — New Extensions of Elevated Railroad Service" (PDF). The New York Times. July 2, 1918. p. 11. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  11. ^ "Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph — Great H System Put in Operation Marks an Era in Railroad Construction — No Hitch in the Plans — But Public Gropes Blindly to Find the Way in Maze of New Stations — Thousands Go Astray — Leaders in City's Life Hail Accomplishment of Great Task at Meeting at the Astor" (PDF). The New York Times. August 2, 1918. p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Whitney, Travis H. (March 10, 1918). "The Seventh and Lexington Avenue Subways Will Revive Dormant Sections — Change in Operation That Will Transform Original Four-Tracked Subway Into Two Four-Tracked Systems and Double Present Capacity of the Interborough" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 12. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: SoHo / Tribeca" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.

External links[edit]