Fulton Center is a transit center and retail complex centered at the intersection of Fulton Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The name also refers to the $1.4 billion project by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public agency of the state of New York, to rehabilitate the New York City Subway's Fulton Street station. The work involved constructing new underground passageways and access points into the complex, renovating the constituent stations, and erecting a large station building that doubles as a part of the Westfield World Trade Center mall.
|New York City Subway transit center|
Fulton Center as seen from the northwest
|Services||At Fulton Street:|
At Chambers Street–World Trade Center/Park Place/Cortlandt Street:
|Opened||November 10, 2014|
The project, first announced in 2002, was intended to improve access to and connections among the New York City Subway services stopping at the Fulton Street station. Funding for the construction project, which began in 2005, dried up for several years, with no final approved plan and no schedule for completion. Plans for the transit center were revived by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The project used to be referred to as the Fulton Street Transit Center, but was re-branded the Fulton Center in May 2012 because of a heightened emphasis on retail. The complex officially opened on November 10, 2014, along with the adjacent Dey Street Passageway.
Through the Dey Street Passageway, the complex connects to the World Trade Center, the Westfield World Trade Center mall, PATH station, and observation deck, and provides connections to the Chambers Street–World Trade Center/Park Place/Cortlandt Street (2, 3, A, C, E, N, R, and W) and WTC Cortlandt (1) stations, as well as the PATH's World Trade Center station. Westfield Corporation operates the retail space as an extension of the Westfield World Trade Center, a block to the west.
The Fulton Center features a high-visibility Transit Center with entrances on Broadway between Fulton Street and John Street, and it connects the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, E, J, N, R, W, and Z services via the underground Dey Street Passageway running east-west under Dey Street. Ove Arup and Partners served as the prime consultant of the entire project. The Fulton Center cost US$1.4 billion, almost twice the original budget of $750 million.
The major elements of the Fulton Center project included the renovations of the Fulton Street stations along the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. During the latter's renovation, new entrances were opened at the corner of Broadway and Maiden Lane for the northbound platform, and at Cortlandt Street and Broadway for the southbound platform. The mezzanine serving the Fulton Street station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line, which previously consisted of several ramps on either side of Nassau Street, was straightened.:11 During these renovations, the entire complex was made ADA-accessible. Ten escalators and fifteen elevators were installed, as well as two ADA accessible public restrooms on the concourse and the street levels.
A new station building, the Fulton Building, was constructed along the east side of Broadway between Fulton and John Streets. The new station required the demolition of the Girard Building and the former Childs Restaurant Building, and incorporates the landmark Corbin Building at the corner of Broadway and John Street. It was nearly canceled at one point, but was saved in 2009 through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This portion of the project was part of a master lease to lease over 60,000 square feet of space. The Fulton Center opened on November 10, 2014, seven years behind schedule and $650 million over budget. Owing to the Fulton Center's use of renewable energy sources and energy-conservation features, the complex was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification in March 2016, becoming the first subway station in New York City to receive such a rating.
In addition to work on the four linked Fulton Street stations, the Dey Street Passageway, located outside the subway system's paid area, was built under Dey Street. It connected the Fulton Street station complex to the Cortlandt–Church Streets station, serving the N, R, and W trains.:5. A new entrance building was constructed on the southwest corner of Broadway and Dey Street, providing direct access to the Dey Street passageway. It opened alongside the rest of the Fulton Center in November 2014, and an extension to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened in May 2016. There were plans for a free transfer between the Cortlandt–Church Street station and the E train at the World Trade Center station; however, this plan was removed due to cost overruns. As of June 2017[update], the connection was again slated to be built and the passageway opened with newly-rearranged turnstiles. The connection opened on December 29, 2017, after a reconfiguration of the respective stations' fare areas. A separate transfer to the 1 train at WTC Cortlandt, outside the fare controls of either the Cortlandt–Church/World Trade Center or Fulton Street stations, was opened on September 8, 2018.
Need and fundingEdit
After several pieces of transit infrastructure in Lower Manhattan were destroyed or severely damaged during the September 11, 2001, attacks, officials proposed a $7 billion redesign of transit in the neighborhood. This included the Fulton Street Transit Center, the South Ferry/Whitehall Street terminal further downtown, and the reconstruction of the West Side Highway.:S.5 The most important of these projects was the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's proposed terminal for PATH trains at the World Trade Center site, which was destroyed when the World Trade Center collapsed. A preliminary plan for the new terminal included situating it under Church Street, near the site of the former Hudson Terminal and close to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s Broadway–Nassau/Fulton Street station. The new terminal would also contain direct connections to the subway; previously, World Trade Center had been served by three different subway stations at Cortlandt–Greenwich Streets, Cortlandt–Church Streets, and Church Street between Chambers and Vesey Streets. Money was also to be allocated to study the feasibility of commuter rail service to Lower Manhattan. This would later become the canceled Lower Manhattan–Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project, which would have created a railway line between Lower Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International Airport via the Long Island Rail Road and AirTrain JFK.
As part of the rebuilding process, the Port Authority considered putting the PATH terminal at Broadway and Fulton Street. However, this was deemed to be prohibitively expensive, so it ultimately decided to put the PATH terminal near Greenwich Street, two blocks west.:S.8 The MTA's project to connect the different subway stations at Broadway–Nassau/Fulton Street was approved, despite the fact that the PATH and MTA projects would not be built as part of a single project. These stations would instead be connected by a series of underground passageways, which would stretch from the World Financial Center in the west to the Fulton Street Transit Center in the east, spanning over half of Manhattan's width at this point. The Fulton Street Transit Center would also contain a large retail building at Broadway and Fulton Street, serving as the main entrance to that complex. The Fulton Street project would include new passageways, entrances, and elevators to provide transfers between the area's subway stations and increase the capacity of the existing station complex at Broadway–Nassau/Fulton Streets.:14–15
In February 2003, New York Governor George Pataki announced a $5 billion plan for rebuilt transit infrastructure at South Ferry, Fulton Street, and the World Trade Center. By April 2003, the MTA had released preliminary plans for a $750 million transit hub at Fulton Street, connecting six subway stations. In December 2003, the Federal Transit Administration allocated a combined $2.85 billion to the three Lower Manhattan transit projects. The PATH station received $1.7 billion in aid, while the Fulton Street Transit Center received $750 million and the South Ferry Terminal received $400 million.
Planning and cutbacksEdit
Compared with other subway stations' renovations, the Fulton Street Transit Center's funding was secure because the project was financed using money from the September 11 recovery fund. After funding for the transit center had been secured, the project's environmental impact statement was released in 2004. The project was still undergoing revisions as of mid-2005, and was to be completed by October 2005. Construction was set to begin later that year.
Funding problems began in June 2005, when the original plans were cut back. The projected cost of the Fulton Street Transit Center had grown by $75 million, to $825 million. The design had been delayed to May 2006, and the proposed completion date was now December 2008. In March 2006, the land under the Corbin Building was taken for the proposed transit center by eminent domain. A block to the north, the MTA began the process of evicting and relocating 148 store owners near the site of the transit center's main building. The budget of real-estate acquisition also rose from $50 million to $157 million. This cost increase was a key factor in the ballooning costs of the transit center over the next several years.
By May 2006, the budget was nearing $850 million, and the planned completion date was delayed to June 2009. Despite the $45 million budget overrun, the MTA denied that the Fulton Center plan would be curtailed. In November 2006, the MTA announced the creation of a free transfer between the Cortlandt–Church Streets and World Trade Center stations, which would cost $15 million more. By February 2007, the projected cost had risen to $888 million, and the MTA pledged to pay for the $41 million gap with its own money. The completion date was now projected as October 2009.
Meanwhile, the costs of other MTA Capital Construction projects were rising as well. The issue peaked in January 2008, when the MTA announced that three other capital projects (the 7 Subway Extension, the Second Avenue Subway, and East Side Access) were facing a combined cost overrun of $1 billion. To remedy the overrun, plans for the Fulton Center's main building had to be downsized: instead of being a 114-foot-high (35 m) structure with a large dome, the headhouse would now be a simple stainless-steel building with a smaller dome. The project, excluding the main building, was now expected to cost $903 million. The main building would cost another $250 million, if built. The cost overruns were attributed to the fact that the MTA had received a single, $870 million bid for one phase of construction, more than twice the $408 million the MTA had originally set aside for that phase. The date of completion was now set for 2010, and the MTA had ordered a 30-day review of the Fulton Center plan. Around the same time, the neighboring World Trade Center Hub's costs also rose from $2.2 billion to $3.4 billion.
The funding reductions also resulted in several design cutbacks. The free transfer from the Cortlandt–Church Streets and World Trade Center stations was dropped from the plans, but was later restored using MTA funds before being dropped and restored again. The passageway underneath Dey Street was narrowed from 40 to 29 feet (12 to 9 m). The MTA deleted the main building from the plan to reduce costs. In March 2008, the MTA announced that it would spend $295 million on an as-yet-undetermined structure at the location of the main building. One proposal included constructing the main building with a performing arts center, rather than a dome, on top. By this time, the MTA lacked several billion dollars in funding for its 2010–2014 capital spending plan. The MTA did not rule out the possibility of converting almost the entire plot into a public plaza and constructing a simple subway entrance from the plaza. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo called the project "The Folly on Fulton Street", a word play on "Fulton's Folly", which was used to describe Robert Fulton's steamboat 200 years before. In June 2008, Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, prepared a report for New York Governor David Paterson regarding the Fulton Street and World Trade Center projects' cost overruns.
Despite the Fulton Street Transit Center's financing deficit, the Federal Transit Administration refused to fund the cost overruns associated with the Fulton Center. However, the MTA used 2009 federal stimulus money to help fund the project. In January 2009, the MTA received $497 million in additional stimulus money, bringing the total cost of the Fulton Street Transit Center to $1.4 billion. As part of an exhibit on the city's major public construction projects, the MTA described the status above ground: "Final details are being worked out for the above ground building. The 115-year-old Corbin Building, at the corner of Broadway and John Street, will be restored and incorporated into the transit center entrance design. The transit center will be a focal point with a vibrant design and a visible portal to downtown and the transit system below".
With funding secured in 2009, MTA Capital Construction released a plan to open various stages of the Fulton Center project. Much of the below-ground connections, such as the IND mezzanine, were to begin construction first. The project rehabilitated two of the four stations in the original station complex. An intricate system of ramps was replaced by two new mezzanines,:11 and new entrances were opened.
Station rehabilitation projectsEdit
The Fulton Center project involved three station rehabilitation projects: the refurbishment of the Seventh Avenue Line's platform at the eastern end of the complex, served by the 2 and 3 trains; the rehabilitation of the Lexington Avenue Line's platforms under Broadway, served by the 4 and 5 trains; and the renovation of Cortlandt–Church Streets, served by the N, R, and W trains. The former two stations had never been renovated, while Cortlandt Street had been renovated in the 1990s before being damaged during the September 11 attacks. The renovations of the Eighth Avenue Line platforms, served by the A and C trains, and the Nassau Street Line platforms, served by the J and Z trains, had been completed in the 1990s.:10
The first completed project of the Fulton Center, the rehabilitation of the Seventh Avenue Line platform, started in 2005. The narrowness of this platform required the addition of extra circulation elements, such as stairs.:11 This project was completed by November 2006.
Although not part of a rehabilitation, the Cortlandt Street station was first closed in 2005 for the construction of the Dey Street Passageway, the underpass and the construction of the East Bathtub that supports the eastern towers of the new World Trade Center complex that was being rebuilt. With the conclusion of the Dey Street Passageway construction, the uptown platform was opened first, in November 25, 2009. The southbound platform was rehabilitated and reopened on September 6, 2011 with a new underpass, to coincide with the upcoming opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
The 4 and 5 trains' station at the western end of the complex was rehabilitated beginning in 2008. Prior to renovations, there was no direct access to the southern end of the northbound platform, causing overcrowding at this location.:10 The renovation started after the entrances at Maiden Lane (northbound) and Cortlandt Street (southbound) were opened to ameliorate passenger flow during subsequent station rehabilitation. Historical features, such as the tiling, were preserved. The structure was joined by the Fulton Building on the northbound platform, and the Dey Street Headhouse on the southbound platform, when they opened.
As part of the reorganization of the Fulton Street station complex, and to mitigate passenger flow congestion during the construction phases of the Fulton Center project, some new entrances opened and some existing entrances closed. In January 2007, the MTA opened a new entrance on the southeast corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway. Like the John Street entrance, it served chiefly the northbound platform of the 4 and 5 trains' platforms. That month, construction began on creating an analogous entrance on Cortlandt Street, just across the street from Broadway, for the southbound platform. These entrances allowed for the temporary closure of the John Street entrance (northbound platform) and the entrance by Dey Street (southbound platform) during the rehabilitation of the 4 and 5 platforms and Dey Street Passageway-related work.
On August 1, 2011, the entrance at 135 William Street on the eastern side of the complex opened. This was completed in conjunction with the gradual opening of the A and C transfer mezzanine. A terra-cotta mural and an iron gate from the Hotel McAlpin, both which were originally found in the original transfer passageway, were relocated to the new 135 William Street entrance. An additional entrance at 129 Fulton Street provides an elevator connecting to the J and Z platform and the A and C mezzanine.
To allow for advanced A and C Mezzanine work and the construction of a permanent underpass under the 4 and 5 tunnel under Fulton Street to take place, the subway station entrance at 222 Broadway became permanently closed on October 29, 2011. In its place, a temporary entrance opened midblock between Fulton Street and John Street, inside the main building construction site. This was followed with a major realignment of the transfer passageway between the A and C and 4 and 5 trains. Related construction work saw the temporary closure of the entrances at Fulton Street, on the northwest (by St. Paul's Chapel) and southwest corners throughout much of 2011. Both were reopened by the first half of 2012. The entrance to Dey Street (195 Broadway), on the southbound platform, was permanently closed on May 1, 2012, for Dey Street Passageway related work and rehabilitation of the southbound platform. It was to be replaced by the Dey Street Headhouse, across Dey Street, when it opened in late September 2012.:2
At the 129 Fulton Street site and the 150 William Street site are permanent entrances that provide access to the Broad Street-bound J and Z trains and the 2 and 3 trains, respectively. There is elevator access at the 129 Fulton Street site. Other entrances include the Dey Street Passageway headhouse building (opened 2012) and the Fulton Center main building, or the Fulton Building (opened 2014).
IND transfer mezzanineEdit
Originally, a network of passageways and ramps loosely connected the various lines with each other, causing congestion during peak hours.:11 The transfer mezzanine, also known as the IND mezzanine, replaced these ramps and made several adjacent entrances redundant. In January 2010, reconstruction of the transfer mezzanine over the Fulton Street IND platform resulted in traffic flow changes. The transfer passageway leading to the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line platform at Fulton Street had previously been modified. Effectively, all transfers were made through the A and C platform.
The stacked-staggered configuration of the J and Z platforms splits the IND mezzanine levels into two halves. The eastern half stretches from Nassau Street to William Street, from the Broad Street-bound J and Z platform to the 2 and 3 platform. Similarly, the western half of the mezzanine stretches from Nassau Street to Broadway, from the Jamaica Center-bound J and Z platform to the 4 and 5 platforms. Transferring passengers have to use the third-basement-level A and C trains' platform to navigate between the two halves of the mezzanine, since the J and Z trains' platforms bisect the mezzanine on both the first and second basement levels.:11
The IND mezzanine opened in various phases. Around August 2011, the William Street end of the Eastern mezzanine opened, coinciding with the opening of the 135 William Street entrance. In October 2011, due to a major realignment of the temporary transfer passageway between the A and C station and the 4 and 5 station, parts of the Western Mezzanine opened as well. The realignment sent passengers through the construction site of the Fulton Building.:44 By January 2012, the Western Mezzanine had opened to the Jamaica-bound J and Z platforms. In June 2012, an underpass under the 4 and 5 platforms, traveling approximately under Fulton Street, re-opened and was connected to the Western Mezzanine. With the opening of the new passageway, the older underpass connecting to southbound 4 and 5 platform was simultaneously closed. As a result, the Western Mezzanine was substantially completed.:2 On August 2, 2012, the Broad Street-bound J and Z platform was connected to the Eastern Mezzanine. An MTA press release regarded this as the substantial completion of the entire IND mezzanine.
|Fulton St to Cortlandt St subway cross-section|
|Greenwich St||WTC Transportation
Hub (Oculus) /
|Nassau St||William St|
|1||R / W||4 / 5||J / Z south||mezzanine|
|underpass||underpass||Dey Street Passageway||underpass||mezzanine||J / Z north||mezzanine||2 / 3|
|mezzanine||← A / C →|
Dey Street headhouse and passagewayEdit
Temporary transfer passages opened to the 4 and 5 trains from the A and C Mezzanine in October 2011, in conjunction with the closing of the entrance across the street on Fulton Street.:3 In June 2012, this passageway was again replaced, this time by a permanent passageway underneath Fulton Street that adjoined the western A and C mezzanine directly. The original temporary transfer passageway was part of an underground concourse connecting the Fulton Center and the Dey Street Passageway, and also served a crossunder for the two platforms.
The Dey Street Passageway headhouse opened on October 8, 2012. It serves as an entrance for the southbound 4 and 5 trains, and as the main access point for the long-anticipated Dey Street Passageway.
The main building for the Fulton Center project, referred to as the Fulton Building by the MTA in its Requests for Proposals in August 2012, is a three-story building clad in glass, with an oculus atop that draws natural light into the main building and the uptown platform of the 4 and 5 station. It is designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and James Carpenter Design Associates. Its construction replaced four buildings along the eastern side of Broadway, which were demolished during 2007.
The Fulton Building was nearly canceled in 2009 due to increasing costs, but was restored after $497 million in stimulus funding was allocated toward the Fulton Street Transit Center. The foundations of the main transit complex was completed in August 2010. Full scale superstructure work on the main building began in January 2011, and steel work concluded in October 2011. In November 2014, the Fulton Building opened to the public.
Sky Reflector-Net, which was commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design (the art program of the MTA), was installed in 2014 in the Fulton Center transit hub. Located at the center of the oculus, the Sky Reflector-Net uses hundreds of aluminum mirrors to provide natural sunlight from a 53 ft (16 m) skylight to an underground area as much as four stories deep. This is the first intentional skylight in the New York City Subway system since the 1945 closure of the original City Hall station.
Billed by MTA officials as New York's "Next Great Public Space", the Fulton Building was designed with a strong focus on retail, with more than 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of retail space as part of the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall. Retail stores are featured on concourse level "C2" (the same level as the IND Mezzanine), concourse level "C1M" (the same level as the 4 and 5 platforms), and the ground floor. In addition, the MTA presentation at the stakeholders' meeting in October 2011 indicates the plausible presence for market cafes on the ground floor, "destination restaurants and bars" on the second floor and an anchor-branded tenant on the third and top floor of the building.
The addition of retail space was an impetus for the May 2012 name change from "Fulton Street Transit Center" to a simpler "Fulton Center" to attract leases. The MTA looked to private companies to manage the retail section of the Fulton Center, attempting to change it to a shopping destination, as well as a transit center. The retail spaces are intended to provide additional revenue for the MTA in the form of real estate.
In July 2012, the MTA made a motion to seek proposals from various companies for a master lease for 65,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. This space includes the Corbin Building, and the Dey Street Passageway and headhouse. The MTA made a Requests for Proposals (RFP) on August 2, 2012. Proposals were by November 2, 2012. According to the MTA's RFP, the main building is called the "Fulton Building" to disambiguate from other related structures, such as the Corbin Building.
The Corbin Building is a landmark building located adjacent to the Fulton Building. Originally slated to be demolished, the building was instead restored as a part of the Fulton Center project and incorporated to the overall transit complex. It also provides street-level retail as well as 31,000 square feet (2,900 m2) of commercial office space.
The building was underpinned during the rehabilitation of the 4 and 5 platforms and the transit building construction. Design elements and the historic decor and facade were preserved as a part of this project. The building as a whole is integrated into the project, with escalators at John Street descending to the 4 and 5 platforms and the Fulton Building. Retail space returned to the ground floor when the Corbin Building reopened in December 2012.
For upper floors, an interstitial structure was built for the height of the building, between the original building and the Fulton Center. This interstitial structure allows the Corbin Building to be made compliant to modern building regulations. A new freight elevator, as well as two passenger elevators, were installed in the interstitial building. Additionally, the interstitial unit gives added support to the Corbin Building. However, the interstitial building is considered to be a part of the Fulton Building.
The Fulton Center project initially included upgrades to five subway stations:
- Fulton Street station on the 2 and 3 trains on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
- Fulton Street station on the 4 and 5 trains on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line
- Fulton Street station on the A and C trains on the IND Eighth Avenue Line
- Fulton Street station on the J and Z trains on the BMT Nassau Street Line
- Cortlandt Street station on the N, R, and W trains on the BMT Broadway Line
The World Trade Center PATH station, as well as the New York City Subway WTC Cortlandt station on the 1 train on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and World Trade Center station on the E train on the IND Eighth Avenue Line are connected to the complex via the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
Despite the presence of a passageway linking the Fulton Street complex and the Cortlandt Street BMT station, there is no free connection between the two stations. There are still paid transfers to the Fulton Street complex and the two Cortlandt Street stations. The connection is still possible via an out-of-system transfer through the WTC Transportation Hub. According to the MTA's Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Dey Street Passageway is intended to provide a seamless connection from the Fulton Center to the WTC Transportation Hub and Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) without the need to cross Church Street and Broadway, both of which are busy traffic arteries in Lower Manhattan. By keeping it outside of the paid area, it would maximize pedestrian flow.
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|MTA's Facebook Web Site — Fulton Street Transit Center Progress Fall 2010 Pictures (15 pictures)|
|MTA's Facebook Web Site — Fulton Street Transit Center – June 8, 2011 (15 pictures)|
|MTA's Facebook Web Site — Fulton Street Transit Center update February 2012 (23 pictures)|
|"What is the Fulton St Transit Center?", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; September 2, 2010; 0:59 YouTube video clip|
|"Fulton St Transit Center – 6/16/2011 Update", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; June 16, 2011; 2:42 YouTube video clip|
|"Fulton St Transit Center – 1/19/2012 Update", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; January 19, 2012; 1:44 YouTube video clip|