Dyckman Street IRT Station


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Manage episode 154729902 series 1132548
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
Despite its name, the subway is not completely below ground. Station entries and exits, control houses containing fare collection equipment, and electric power facilities sit aboveground. And in instances where engineering and cost considerations make underground stations problematic, elevated stations dot the landscape. The original IRT route had 49 stations that opened between 1904 and 1908. Thirtyseven were below ground and 12 like Dyckman Street were elevated.Even among the elevated stations, Dyckman is unique. It was built into a side of a hill, just outside of the Fort George Tunnel, which runs for twomiles deep underground from 158th Street to Hillside Avenue in Manhattan. At its south end, the Dyckman Street station adjoins the tunnel portal. Like the station, this portal was designed by architects Heins amp LaFarge. At its north end, the station is on an elevated viaduct. So from an architectural point of view, Dyckman Street is a transition station, instead of a standard elevated station. It is an excellent example of the way that engineering issues dictated design decisions during subway planning.To enter the station, passengers pass through a control house built under the tracks. Heins amp LaFarge designed the control house in the same BeauxArts style that they used throughout the system. The exterior is clad in concrete a standard material in station construction. But the concrete is patterned to resemble ashlar stone. Ashlar stone is made of large rectangular blocks with sculpted square edges. It is sometimes used as an alternative to brick.During the day, the interior of the control house is filled with light, thanks to the massive windows along its western wall. The east wall once had three windows, but today a contemporary token booth sits in that space. An original green mosaic frieze adorns the walls on the eastern, western, and northern walls of the control house. The south wall also contains ceramics, but these are recent additions. During the 1991 station renovation, MTA Arts for Transit installed a subtle but beautiful piece of art. quotFlightquot by Wopo Holup features groups of birds made out of station wall materials taking flight.

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