Astor Place station

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 weekdays in the peak direction, and by the 4 train during late nights. The station is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Astor Place
 "6" train"6" express train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Astor Place 4 vc.jpg
Downtown platform
Station statistics
AddressAstor Place & Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
LocaleNoHo / East Village
Coordinates40°43′47″N 73°59′30″W / 40.72972°N 73.99167°W / 40.72972; -73.99167Coordinates: 40°43′47″N 73°59′30″W / 40.72972°N 73.99167°W / 40.72972; -73.99167
DivisionA (IRT)
Line   IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services   4 late nights (late nights)
   6 all times (all times) <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M8
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedOctober 27, 1904 (116 years ago) (1904-10-27)[1]
Station code407[2]
AccessibleThe mezzanine is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but the platforms are not compliant ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; platforms are not ADA-accessible (Elevator is present only in the southbound direction during Kmart operating hours)
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3]
Opposite-direction transfer availableNo
Former/other namesAstor Place–Cooper Union
Cooper Union
20195,502,925[5]Increase 7.7%
Rank81 out of 424[5]
Station succession
Next north14th Street–Union Square: 4 late nights6 all times <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction
Next southBleecker Street: 4 late nights6 all times <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction

Astor Place Subway Station (IRT)
MPSNew York City Subway System MPS
NRHP reference No.04001013[6]
NYCL No.1096
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 17, 2004
Designated NYCLNovember 24, 1981[7]


Track layout

Construction started on the first IRT line in 1900.[8][9]:162–191 The part of the line from City Hall to just south of 42nd Street was part of the original IRT line, opened on October 27, 1904, and included a local station at Astor Place. The station originally served local trains from the now-abandoned City Hall station to 145th Street at Broadway.[10][1]

In 1981, the MTA listed the station among the 69 most deteriorated stations in the subway system.[11] The station underwent renovation from June 1984 to May 1986. The station was renovated for $2.5 million, and was part of the Adopt-a-Station program. The money included $600,000 from the Federal Urban Mass Transit Administration, $125,000 from private sources, including some from the Vincent Astor Foundation. The scope of the project included the restoration of the famous glazed ceramic beaver plaques, new improved lighting, the installation of noise-abatement material, as well as the installation of new brown floor tiles. A new piece of porcelain steel artwork by Cooper Union alumnus Milton Glaser was installed, and a cast-iron copy of one of the station's original kiosks was built. There was an underpass between the uptown and downtown sides, but it was closed and covered up in the 1980s renovation.[12]

Unbuilt PATH connectionEdit

Plans for the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (H&M; now PATH), devised in the first decade of the 20th century, included a spur from the Uptown Hudson Tubes along Ninth Street to this station.[13] At the time, the Uptown Tubes between New Jersey and Manhattan had been under construction intermittently since 1874, although work had stopped several times.[14]:14–15 By 1904, William Gibbs McAdoo was given the rights to complete the Uptown Tubes. As part of the plan, he would retain perpetual rights to build and operate an east–west crosstown line under Christopher Street and Ninth Street eastward to either Second Avenue or Astor Place,[15][14]:22 with no intermediate stops.[16] Although the Uptown Tubes opened to 33rd Street in 1908,[17][14]:21 work on the Ninth Street spur stalled. By 1914, the Rapid Transit Commissioners had determined that the spur was unlikely to be built soon, so permission to build the Ninth Street tunnel was denied.[18]

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Entrances/exits
Platform level
Side platform
Northbound local    toward Pelham Bay Park or Parkchester (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 (Bleecker Street)
  toward New Lots Avenue late nights (Bleecker Street)
Side platform

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 access hatch to the underpass is visible behind the northbound token booth inside the fare control area. 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. During the renovation, the magnificent maroon and gold tile Cooper Union signs underneath the tile Astor Place signs were destroyed.[19] Black and white pillar signs read Astor Place on one pillar, then Cooper Union on the next.


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.[20] There is a reproduction of an IRT entry kiosk on the street level over the northbound entrance.

Points of interestEdit

The station itself is a New York City designated landmark and a National Register of Historic Places listing. Several other sites of historical and cultural importance are 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.[21] 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.[22] Other points of interest include:

The Eighth Street – New York University station on the BMT Broadway Line is one block west of the station.[21]

In popular cultureEdit

The cover image of Billy Joel's 1976 album Turnstiles was shot on the uptown side of the station.[23]

Image galleryEdit


  1. ^ a b "Our Subway Open: 150,000 Try It; Mayor McClellan Runs the First Official Train". The New York Times. October 28, 1904. p. 1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "Interborough Rapid Transit System, Underground Interior" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. November 24, 1981. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Rapid Transit Tunnel Begun; Ground Officially Broken by the Mayor with a Silver Spade" (PDF). The New York Times. March 25, 1900. p. 2. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  9. ^ Walker, James Blaine (1918). Fifty Years of Rapid Transit — 1864 to 1917. New York, N.Y.: Law Printing. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "New York City subway opens - Oct 27, 1904". October 27, 1904. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (June 11, 1981). "Agency Lists Its 69 Most Deteriorated Subway Stations". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Blau, Eleanor (May 17, 1986). "Refurbishing of IRT Station Applauded by Well-Wishers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  13. ^ "Map of Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Hudson Tunnel System" (PDF). Hudson & Manhattan Railroad. December 31, 1912. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Cudahy, Brian J. (2002), Rails Under the Mighty Hudson (2nd ed.), New York: Fordham University Press, ISBN 978-0-82890-257-1, OCLC 911046235
  15. ^ "M'Adoo Subway Wins Fight For Franchise; Crosstown Line Perpetual -- 25 Years Under Sixth Avenue". The New York Times. December 16, 1904. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  16. ^ D'Orazio, Bernard (April 23, 2018). "In 1874, a Daring Downtown Plan: Build a Train Tunnel Under the Hudson". Tribeca Trib Online. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "Trolley Tunnel Open to Jersey; President Turns On Power for First Official Train Between This City and Hoboken". The New York Times. February 26, 1908. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "M'Adoo's Railroad Slow In Building; Two Months More Time Given for Extension to Grand Central". The New York Times. April 9, 1914. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "1982 Photo of Astor Place Signage". Cable (Cooper Union Yearbook). 1982. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  20. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: East Village" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i "MTA Neighborhood Maps: East Village" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  22. ^ "Clinton Hall at Astor Place". Forgotten New York.
  23. ^ Katz, Mike, 1962- (June 2018). Rock and roll explorer guide to New York City. Kott, Crispin,, McNeil, Legs. Guilford, Connecticut. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-63076-316-9. OCLC 1007036799.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Further readingEdit

  • Stookey, Lee (1994). Subway ceramics : a history and iconography of mosaic and bas relief signs and plaques in the New York City subway system. Brattleboro, Vt: L. Stookey. ISBN 978-0-9635486-1-0. OCLC 31901471.

External linksEdit