1904: NYC Subway Opens

By alexandra

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As our online contest with New York Spaces comes to a close, we’d like to take a look at another iconic NY landscape: the New York City subway.  Today marks the 106th year anniversary of the transit system’s opening.  Theodore Roosevelt was President, George Mclellan was NYC Mayor and a subway ride was a whopping 5 cents.

Today, around 4.5 million passengers are transported through the underground.  While the subway has become a boring commute for some, design enthusiasts can find artistic elements within the tunnels.

The glazed red brick tiling in the 49th street NQR station was selected by celebrated architect Philip Johnson in the 1970s.  Around the same time, renowned graphic designer Massimo Vignelli revamped the official subway map.  The map, while no longer practical, has become an oft-referenced piece of art. Mosaics and stained glass decorate countless other stations (the MTA lists permanent artwork on their website).

A close-up on Massimo Vignelli's map (Photo courtesy of www.visualcomplexity.com)

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