Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall/Chambers Street station

Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall/Chambers Street is a New York City Subway station complex in Lower Manhattan. The complex is served by trains of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and the BMT Nassau Street Line. The following services stop at this station:

  • 4, 6, and J trains at all times
  • 5 train at all times except late nights
  • <6> train on weekdays in the peak direction
  • Z skip-stop train during rush hours in the peak direction
 Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall/
 Chambers Street
 "4" train"5" train"6" train"6" express train"J" train"Z" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station complex
WTM3 PAT M IN NYC 0034.jpg
Municipal Building entrance
Station statistics
LocaleCivic Center
Coordinates40°42′46″N 74°0′17″W / 40.71278°N 74.00472°W / 40.71278; -74.00472Coordinates: 40°42′46″N 74°0′17″W / 40.71278°N 74.00472°W / 40.71278; -74.00472
DivisionA (IRT), B (BMT)
Line      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
      BMT Nassau Street Line
Services      4 all times (all times)
      5 all times except late nights (all times except late nights)
      6 all times (all times) <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)​
      J all times (all times)
      Z rush hours, peak direction (rush hours, peak direction)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M9, M22, M103
Bus transport MTA Bus: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, QM7, QM8
Other information
Opened1914[citation needed]
Station code622[1]
AccessibleThis station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA-accessible
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[2]
Passengers (2019)9,065,146[4]Increase 0.1%
Rank32 out of 424[4]

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Exit/entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agents
  Elevator on west side of Centre Street south of Chambers Street
Platform level
Side platform, not in service
Northbound   toward Jamaica Center (Canal Street)
  PM rush toward Jamaica Center (Canal Street)
Island platform  
Northbound No regular service
Island platform, not in service
Southbound No regular service
Island platform  
Southbound   toward Broad Street (Fulton Street)
  AM rush toward Broad Street (Fulton Street)
Side platform, not in service
Side platform, not in service
Northbound local    toward Parkchester or Pelham Bay Park (Canal Street)
Island platform  
Northbound express   toward Woodlawn (Canal Street late nights, 14th Street–Union Square other times)
  toward Dyre Avenue or Nereid Avenue (14th Street–Union Square)
Southbound express   toward Utica Avenue (New Lots Avenue late nights) (Fulton Street)
  toward Flatbush Avenue weekdays, Bowling Green evenings/weekends (Fulton Street)
Island platform  
Southbound local     termination track →
(No service: City Hall)
Side platform, not in service

Lower Manhattan transit
Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall  4  5  (   6 )
 1  2  3  Chambers Street
Chambers Street  J  Z 
 A  C  (   E ) Chambers Street–WTC
City Hall  R  W 
 2  3  Park Place
Cortlandt Street  R  W 
Fulton Street  2  3  4  5  A  C  J  Z 
Rector Street  R  W 
 4  5  Wall Street
Wall Street  2  3 
 4  5  Bowling Green
Broad Street (   J  Z )

BMT Nassau Street Line platformsEdit

 Chambers Street
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Northbound platform. On the right is the unused middle platform before renovation
Station statistics
DivisionB (BMT)
Line      BMT Nassau Street Line
Services      J   (all times)
      Z   (rush hours, peak direction)
Platforms3 island platforms (1 disused), 2 side platforms (1 demolished, 1 disused)
Tracks4 (2 in regular service)
Other information
OpenedAugust 4, 1913; 107 years ago (1913-08-04)[5]
Station code105[1]
Accessible  ADA-accessible
Wireless service [2]
Opposite-direction transfer availableYes
Station succession
Next northCanal Street: J  Z  
Next   northMarcy Avenue: J  Z  
Next southFulton Street: J  Z  
Next   southFulton Street: J  Z  

Chambers Street Subway Station (Dual System BMT)
MPSNew York City Subway System MPS
NRHP reference No.05000669[6]
Added to NRHPJuly 6, 2005
Track layout
Manhattan Br Sidings
Ceramic tile with Brooklyn Bridge

Chambers Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line is located at the intersection of Centre and Chambers Streets beneath the Manhattan Municipal Building. The station has four tracks, three island platforms, and one side platform (originally two).

The southbound platform is slightly higher at the southern end of the station because the next stop south, Fulton Street, is bi-level with the southbound platform being above the northern one. The two "express" tracks, currently unused in regular revenue service, merge into a single tail track south of the station. The tail track is 620 feet (190 m) long from the switch points to the bumper block, where an emergency exit is available. The tail track south of the station was the site of a train crash on November 6, 2007.[7]

North of this station, there are two stub tracks, which end behind the now-closed Queens-bound side platform.[8][9] These tracks were formerly connected to the Manhattan Bridge, until they were disconnected in 1967 as part of the Chrystie Street Connection, with the BMT Broadway Line being connected to the bridge instead. Also north of this station, the former southbound express track (now the northbound track) splits into two tracks just south of Canal Street: the former northbound local track, and the former southbound express track (the current northbound track).

The tile work on this station includes a depiction of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge that has a subtle mistake: it features the parallel up-down cables between the main cable and the roadway (as seen alone on most suspension bridges) but misses the second set of diagonal cables that radiate from the bridge to the roadway (as seen on cable-stayed bridges).


The station opened on August 4, 1913.[5] When it was being built before World War I, Chambers Street was designed to be the BMT's Manhattan hub, with trains arriving from Brooklyn in both directions, and terminating here. It was envisioned as a City Hall terminal, a kind of downtown Grand Central Terminal at a time when the business and population center of the city was still closer to the southern end of the island. Three years after the Chambers Street station opened, its four wide platforms were so overcrowded that one newspaper article described them as "more dangerous during the rush hours than at the Grand Central or the Fourteenth Street Stations."[10]

Originally, trains arrived from the north via either the Williamsburg Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge; the connection to the Montague Street Tunnel had not yet been completed. The loop configuration permitted trains arriving in either direction from the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn to pass through Chambers Street and return to Fourth Avenue without having to reverse direction. The BMT Brooklyn Loops, a track connection to the Brooklyn Bridge that would have connected to the Williamsburg Bridge tracks, was planned in the station's design, but was only partially built. The finished portions of the tunnel to the Brooklyn Bridge led directly to wine vaults under the bridge.[11]

By the mid-1920s, the subway itself was pushing the city's population north and leaving Chambers Street behind. The Nassau Street Loop was completed in 1931, making Chambers Street a through station south to the Montague Street Tunnel to Brooklyn. At this point, the center island platform and the two side platforms were closed. By the 1950s, many of the city's business interests had shifted to Midtown. The west side platform was walled up and most of it was destroyed when Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line was rebuilt on the other side of the wall in 1960–62. The Chrystie Street Connection, completed in 1967, severed the Nassau line's connection to the Manhattan Bridge, so that the bridge tracks could connect instead to the uptown IND Sixth Avenue Line. The tracks heading towards the Manhattan Bridge (now used for train storage) are visible from northbound trains leaving Chambers Street.

Although altered over the years to account for changing ridership patterns, the station has not been renovated. In a 2003 poll, it was voted the ugliest station in the system.[10] In May 2018, it was announced that the MTA would start renovating the Chambers Street station that August. The station will received two platform elevators and three new ramps in the mezzanine. One ramp allows passengers using the Chambers Street mezzanine to use the street elevator in the Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall station. The two other ramps lead to the two platform elevators. The station platforms were modified to reduce the gap between trains and the platform edges, and a pedestrian bridge was installed above the tracks, connecting both of the open platforms. To accommodate the ramps, elevators, and pedestrian bridge, portions of the station and mezzanine were removed or reconfigured. These improvements made the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,[12] and were funded as part of the 2015–2019 MTA Capital Program.[13][14][15][16] The project will take at least 24 months to be completed.[17] A contract for the elevators' construction was awarded in August 2018, and the elevators opened by September 1, 2020.[18]


The BMT station has two main exits/entrances, both of which are shared with the IRT station via a passageway:

In popular cultureEdit

  • Subway scenes from the 1956 film Somebody Up There Likes Me were filmed at the Chambers Street station.
  • The station was used to film a scene in the 1980 film Fame.
  • In the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, muggers inside the Municipal Building entrance to the station pull a knife on the title character (Paul Hogan) and his girlfriend Sue (Linda Kozlowski); Dundee responds by saying of the muggers' knife, "That's not a knife." Pulling a larger knife of his own, he then says, "That's a knife."[20]
  • The station was used in the 1998 adaptation of Great Expectations, in a climactic scene featuring Ethan Hawke and Robert De Niro.
  • The station was also briefly featured in the short film/music video "Hurricane" by Thirty Seconds to Mars.
  • The corridor connecting the two stations was used for a scene in the TV show Person of Interest.
  • The Foley Square entrance staircase has been a popular filming location for numerous New York based TV shows, specifically Law & Order and Flight of the Conchords.
  • Subway scenes from the 1984 film C.H.U.D. were filmed at the Chambers Street Station.[21]

Image galleryEdit

IRT Lexington Avenue Line platformsEdit

 Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Uptown island platform
Station statistics
AddressPark Row & Centre Street
New York, NY 10007
DivisionA (IRT)
Line      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services      4   (all times)
      5   (all times except late nights)
      6   (all times) <6>   (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
Platforms2 island platforms (in service)
cross-platform interchange
2 side platforms (abandoned)
Other information
OpenedOctober 27, 1904; 115 years ago (1904-10-27)[22]
Station code411[1]
Accessible  ADA-accessible (Transfer to Chambers Street is accessible.)
Wireless service [2]
Opposite-direction transfer availableYes
Former/other namesBrooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge–Worth Street
Chambers Street
Station succession
Next north14th Street–Union Square (express): 4  5  
Canal Street (local): 4  6   <6>  
Worth Street (local; closed): no service
Next   northGrand Central–42nd Street (express): 4  5  
Canal Street (local): 4  6   <6>  
Next south(Terminal): 6   <6>  
City Hall (local; closed): no passenger service
Fulton Street: 4  5  
Next   southnone: 6   <6>  
Fulton Street: 4  5  

Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall Subway Station (IRT)
MPSNew York City Subway System MPS
NRHP reference No.05000674[6]
Added to NRHPJuly 6, 2005
Track layout
Worth Street
Brooklyn Bridge
City Hall Loop
storage tracks
Fulton Street

Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall is an express station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line which is located on Park Row at the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the southern terminal for the 6 train, which turns via the City Hall Loop to head back uptown.

The station has been renovated, with new tile and ADA-accessible elevator access. It is the zero point for the IRT East Side chain; mile 0 is at the south end of the station.

The Brooklyn Bridge station has a number of closed off areas as construction and service patterns have required changes to be made to the station. In addition to the two island platforms, there are two short side platforms on the outer edges of the station. Like those on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line at 14th Street–Union Square and on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at 96th Street, these side platforms were built to accommodate extra passenger volume and were built to the five-car length of the original IRT local trains. These platforms did not see much use as they were located at express stations, which allow cross-platform interchanges via the island platforms. When trains were lengthened to their current ten-car length, it was impractical to lengthen both these side platforms and the island platforms. They were closed in 1910 after only six years in operation and walled off along the platform edges.

The side platform on the southbound side is now home to some electrical equipment and a backup control tower for the Brooklyn Bridge interlocking, just north of the station. The tower is functional but not normally used, because the Grand Central–42nd Street tower is the primary control point for the whole line. The interlocking board can be seen through a window along the wall along the southbound local trackway. The south end of the downtown side platform is still visible near the dispatcher's booth on the downtown island platform.

There are also some closed portions at the south ends of the existing express platforms that feature gap fillers and original mosaic tiles. During previous station lengthening projects, it was deemed easier to lengthen the express platform northward, as the curves at the south end proved impossible to rework. The lengthening resulted in the closure of Worth Street, the closure of the curved southern ends of the express platforms, and the demolition of the western side platform at Chambers Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line.

Artwork includes a 1996 work by Mark Gibian titled Cable Crossing.[23]


This station was constructed as part of the first IRT line between 1900 and 1904.[24] This station opened on October 27, 1904, along the rest of the line from City Hall to 145th Street.[22] Express trains were extended south on January 16, 1905, when a 0.3 miles (0.48 km)-long extension to Fulton Street opened at 12:01 a.m.[25]

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the New York City Transit Authority undertook a $138 million modernization project for the Lexington Avenue Line. As part of the project, platforms at Brooklyn Bridge were extended. Work on the reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge station started on May 18, 1959 and continued without interruption until it was completed on September 1, 1962. Prior to the rebuild, the station's local platform could only accommodate four cars, resulting in delays. The uptown platform's extension opened at this time (the downtown platform was lengthened in 1961) as the platforms were lengthened, widened, and straightened. Originally, the island platforms narrowed at their northern ends to an unsafe width of only five feet. The project remedied this situation, lengthening the platforms from 295 feet to 523 feet and widening them. The platforms were extended northward by 220 feet (67 m) to just south of Reade Street. In addition, a new exit was provided at Reade Street and Lafayette Street and a new passageway under Reade Street was built connecting to the Chambers Street station on the BMT Nassau Street Line. At the center of the enlarged platforms, a new overhead passage was built, providing more direct access to the Municipal Building.[26][27]

The platform extensions allowed the old platform extensions at the southern end of the station, which were used for express service, to be abandoned. These platform extensions had necessitated the use of gap fillers. This project cost $6 million, and allowed 6 trains to be lengthened to nine cars, and allowed express trains to open all doors at the station (previously the doors only opened in eight of the ten cars). Upon its completion, the Worth Street station to the north was closed due to its close proximity to the platform extensions, and, as such, the station was renamed Brooklyn Bridge–Worth Street.[27] However the name was reverted to Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall in 1995.

Track layoutEdit

Just north of the station are crossovers that allow trains to switch between the local and express tracks, which allow Lexington Avenue local trains to continue south via the express tracks if necessary (rather than using the City Hall loop). Due to the closure of City Hall station in 1945, Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (which had simply been Brooklyn Bridge) became the southernmost station on normal Lexington Avenue local service.

South of the station, the downtown local track splits into three tracks. The westernmost track loops around to the northbound local track through City Hall station. The other two are layup tracks parallel to the downtown express track. Until 1963, they merged into the downtown express track north of Fulton Street, but now they end at bumper blocks a little north of Fulton Street, and are occasionally used for train storage.[28]


All of the IRT station's exits are shared with the BMT station via a passageway.

  • Two stairs to northwest corner of Reade and Centre Streets[19]
  •   Two stairs and an elevator to City Hall Park just southwest of the intersection of Centre and Chambers Streets, in front of the Tweed Courthouse[19]

A long passageway at the south end of the station leads to:

  • One stair to a plaza just south of the Manhattan Municipal Building. This exit is smaller and faces the large BMT entrance under the building.[19]
  • One stair to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway itself[19]
  • Two stairs to the south side of Frankfort Street at Pace Plaza, in front of Pace University[19]

Image galleryEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Passenger Killed On Loop's First Day ; Printer, Impatient at Delay in New Bridge Subway, Tries to Walk the Track". The New York Times. August 5, 1913. p. 2. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  7. ^ Metropolitan Transportation Authority, M Train Incident at Chambers Street, November 6, 2007
  8. ^ The provisions for 2 tracks are clearly visible towards the right at the 3:11 mark, just after the train leaves the Chambers Street station.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Randy (May 13, 2003). "TUNNEL VISION; They're Subway Experts. Take Their Word on What's Ugly". New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 21, 2015. But eventually they came to settle on the Chambers Street station beneath the Municipal Building as the clear winner in their 2003 subway station ugly contest.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "MTA overhauling 'forgotten' subway station after Post report". New York Post. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  13. ^ "MTA Capital Program 2015–2019: Renew. Enhance. Expand" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 28, 2015. p. 61. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "The MTA's Key Station Plan for subway accessibility – The Weekly Nabe". The Weekly Nabe. June 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "MTA 2017 Preliminary Budget July Financial Plan 2017 –2020 Volume 2" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "Funding For Subway Station ADA-Accessibility Approved". April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  17. ^ "Elevators, Other Improvements Coming to Chambers Street JZ Station". Twitter. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting November 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 13, 2018. p. 90. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Lower Manhattan" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  20. ^ Chuck Katz, Manhattan on Film: Walking Tours of Hollywood's Fabled Front Lot (Limelight, 1995), pp. 298–99.
  21. ^
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall/Chamber Street MARK GIBIAN Cable Crossing, 1996". MTA Arts & Design. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  24. ^ "Rapid Transit Tunnel Begun — Ground Officially Broken by the Mayor with a Silver Spade — Felicitations and Speeches — Ceremonies Witnessed by Immense Unruly Crowd Eager for Souvenirs" (PDF). The New York Times. March 25, 1900. p. 2. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  25. ^ "Fulton St. Trains Monday — New Style of Subway Platform Will Be Tried There" (PDF). The New York Times. January 14, 1905. p. 5. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Annual Report For The Year Ended June 30, 1959". New York City Transit Authority. October 1959. p. 9. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  27. ^ a b "New Platform for IRT Locals At Brooklyn Bridge to End Jams; Sharp Curve on Northbound Side Removed Station Extended to Worth St". The New York Times. September 1, 1962. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  28. ^ "IRT Lexington Ave. Trackage To Be Changed". The New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 6 (3): 6. June 1963 – via Issue.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Google Maps Street View:

Abandoned Stations: