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Lexington Avenue/51st Street is a New York City Subway station complex on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and IND Queens Boulevard Line. Located on Lexington Avenue and stretching from 51st Street to 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, it is served by the:

  • 6 and E trains at all times
  • M trains during weekdays
  • <6> trains during weekdays in the peak direction
  • 4 trains during late nights
 Lexington Avenue/51 Street
 "6" train"6" express train​​"E" train"M" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station complex
Lexington Avenue-53 St Plaza entrance.jpg
Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street plaza entrance
Station statistics
AddressEast 53rd Street & Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
LocaleMidtown Manhattan
Coordinates40°45′25″N 73°58′19″W / 40.757075°N 73.971977°W / 40.757075; -73.971977Coordinates: 40°45′25″N 73°58′19″W / 40.757075°N 73.971977°W / 40.757075; -73.971977
DivisionA (IRT), B (IND)
Line      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
IND Queens Boulevard 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)​
      E all times (all times)
      M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: , M50, M101, M102, M103
Bus transport MTA Bus: BxM1
Other information
OpenedDecember 11, 1988; 30 years ago (1988-12-11)[1]
Station code612[2]
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[3]
Passengers (2018)18,585,755 (station complex)[4]Decrease 1.9%
Rank10 out of 424

The complex comprises two separate stations: 51st Street (Lexington Avenue Line) and Lexington Avenue–53rd Street (Queens Boulevard Line).

In 2017, the station complex had an annual ridership of 18,940,774, making it the ninth-busiest in the system.[4]

Originally two separate stations, the Lexington Avenue–53rd Street IND station and 51st Street IRT station are now connected via a transfer passage, which was opened in 1988 upon the completion of 599 Lexington Avenue. Approximately 50,000 riders transfer between the Lexington Avenue and Queens Boulevard Lines each weekday.[5]

Station layoutEdit

G Street Level Exit/ Entrance
  Elevator at NE corner of 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue
Lexington Avenue Line platforms
Side platform, doors will open on the right  
Northbound local     toward Pelham Bay Park (  toward Parkchester rush hours and middays) (59th Street)
  toward Woodlawn (late nights) (59th Street)
Southbound local     toward Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (  toward New Lots Avenue late nights) (Grand Central–42nd Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right  
B2 Northbound express     do not stop here
Southbound express     do not stop here →
Queens Boulevard Line platforms
Southbound   toward World Trade Center (Fifth Avenue/53rd Street)
  toward Middle Village–Metropolitan Avenue (Fifth Avenue/53rd Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left  
Northbound   toward Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer (Court Square–23rd Street)
  toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Court Square–23rd Street)

A shopping arcade outside fare control leads to a staircase and elevator inside the south side of 132 East 53rd Street that go up to the northeast corner of East 52nd Street and Lexington Avenue. There is a token booth and turnstile bank leading to the passageway between the two lines, which was added in 1989. Outside fare control under the Citigroup Center, there are two stairs and an elevator. The passageway extends to the staircases and escalators going down to the IND platform and contains a turnstile bank in the center.[6] In 2003, as part of efforts to ease crowding in the station, a mezzanine was added to connect the passageway to the Third Avenue end of the IND station.[7]

The IRT platforms' elevators were installed in June 1989, making the station one of the earliest to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The elevator to the IND platform was installed at a later date.

IRT Lexington Avenue Line platformsEdit

 51 Street
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Downtown local platform
Station statistics
AddressEast 51st Street & Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022 40°45′25″N 73°58′19″W / 40.757075°N 73.971977°W / 40.757075; -73.971977
DivisionA (IRT)
Line      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services      4   (late nights)
      6   (all times) <6>   (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedJuly 17, 1918; 101 years ago (1918-07-17)
Station code401[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible
Wireless service [3]
Station succession
Next north59th Street: 4  6   <6>  
Next southGrand Central–42nd Street: 4  6   <6>  

Next   north86th Street: 4  6   <6>  
Next   southGrand Central–42nd Street: 4  6   <6>  
Track layout

51st Street on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, opened on July 17, 1918, is a local station with two local tracks and two side platforms. The two express tracks, used by the 4 and 5 trains during daytime hours, pass through a lower level and are not visible from the platforms. Both platforms have emergency exits from the lower level express tracks.

The station features modern beige bricks over the original tiles, but the standard IRT-style mosaics remain intact. There is a crossunder at the extreme north end of the platforms with an elevator on each side and an up-only escalator on the Brooklyn Bridge-bound side. A ceramic artwork called Tunnel Vision by Nina Yankowitz was installed here in 1989.

The passageway to the IND Queens Boulevard Line is on the extreme north end of the northbound platform, with a crossunder to the southbound side. This crossunder features stairs and an up-only escalators.

The platforms are approximately 25 feet below street level and the station's full-time fare control areas are at the center of each. A staircase of seven steps goes up to a turnstile bank, with a token booth and two exits to each corner on each side outside fare control.

This station is the southernmost station on the Lexington Avenue Line to be directly under Lexington Avenue itself. South of here, the line shifts slightly westward to Park Avenue.


The southbound platform has a part-time fare control area near the south end. A seven-step staircase goes up to a turnstile bank. Outside fare control, there is a customer assistance booth and one staircase going up to the front entrance of the Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel on the southwest corner of Lexington Avenue and East 50th Street.[8][6] The New York Public Library's Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral Branch is located within this exit, just outside of fare control. The 2,100-square-foot (200 m2) branch, the second smallest in the NYPL system, became part of the New York Public Library in 1992. Before that, it was a library for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.[9]

At Lexington Avenue and 51st Street, eight stairs go up to all four corners of that intersection (two to each corner). The eastern stairs serve the northbound platform, and the western stairs serve the southbound platform.[6]

Image galleryEdit

IND Queens Boulevard Line platformEdit

 Lexington Avenue–53 Street
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Looking south on the platform leading to the transfer
Station statistics
AddressLexington Avenue & East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022 40°45′30″N 73°58′16″W / 40.758343°N 73.971033°W / 40.758343; -73.971033
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND Queens Boulevard Line
Services      E   (all times)
      M   (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
Platforms1 island platform
Other information
OpenedAugust 19, 1933; 86 years ago (1933-08-19)[10][11]
Station code275[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible
Wireless service [3]
Former/other namesLexington–3rd Avenues
Station succession
Next eastCourt Square–23rd Street: E  M  
Next westFifth Avenue/53rd Street: E  M  

Next   eastQueens Plaza: E  M  
Next   west50th Street (via Queens Blvd): E   (southbound only)
47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center (via 6th): M  
Track layout

Lexington Avenue–53rd Street on the IND Queens Boulevard Line opened on August 19, 1933[10][11] and has two tracks and one island platform. It was built 70 feet (21 m) below street level, as the line had to pass beneath all of the north–south subway lines that were built before it. As a result, long escalators and staircases are required to reach the mezzanine from the platform.[10][11]

There are no tiles, trim line, or mosaics on the track walls. East of this station (railroad north), the line goes under the East River to Long Island City, Queens.


This station has an unstaffed entrance/exit at the east (railroad north) end. One escalator and one elevator from the platform goes up to a turnstile bank, where two staircases go up to either western corners of Third Avenue and 53rd Street. A larger staircase goes up to the entrance plaza of 205 East 53rd Street at the northeast corner, and there is also an entrance/exit from under the southeast-corner building. The original name, Lexington–3rd Avenues, came from this exit.[6]

At the extreme west (railroad south) end of the platform, a bank of two escalators and one staircase (which were once the longest in the world), a single escalator, and one ADA-accessible elevator go up to the full-time mezzanine with a token booth, where a turnstile bank provide entrance/exit from the station. One glass-enclosed staircase goes up to the entrance plaza of 132 East 53rd Street at the southeast corner of Lexington Avenue. A larger staircase goes up to a sunken shopping plaza of the Citigroup Center at the northeast corner of the aforementioned intersection.[6]


In 1976, with funding from the Exxon Corporation, this station, as well as three others citywide, received new "artfully humorous graffiti" murals and artwork.[12] Local designer Sperling Elman Inc. received $5,000 to place a new coat of paint on the entrances. The paint was placed "in a variety of colors and in broad stripes."[12]

The 2004 artwork here is called Passing Through by Al Held. It features glass mosaic on the mezzanine walls.

Image galleryEdit

Proposed Second Avenue Subway stationEdit

As part of the construction of the Second Avenue Subway, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has considered including a transfer between this station complex and the proposed 55th Street station on the Second Avenue Line, which would be located under Second Avenue between 52nd Street and 56th Street.[13] This would provide a transfer to the proposed T train, which would serve the Second Avenue Line upon completion of Phase 3, although that phase is currently not funded or scheduled. Currently, the transfer is under evaluation.[14][15] The proposed transfer passage would run under 53rd Street between the eastern end of the Queens Boulevard Line platform and Second Avenue, connecting to the southern end of 55th Street station.[16] The MTA projects that providing a transfer between the Queens Boulevard and Second Avenue lines would reduce crowding in the existing transfer passage between the Queens Boulevard and Lexington Avenue lines at the western end of the Queens Boulevard Line platform.[13]


  1. ^ Guide to December 11, 1988, version of the New York City Subway map
  2. ^ a b c "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Potential East Midtown Transit Improvements" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 2012. p. 28. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Midtown East/Grand Central" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Feldman, Jason. "Contractors Construct 200-ft.-long Mezzanine Under 53rd St". New York Construction. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Station Reporter — 51st Street/Lexington Avenue Complex Archived July 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (October 24, 2010). "A New York Public Library Branch That's a Commuter's Secret". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "New Queens Subway Service Will Be Launched Tonight; Tunnel From Manhattan Open to Jackson Heights; Service Will Eventually Be Extended Through To Jamaica". Long Island Daily Press. August 18, 1933. p. 20. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "New Queens Tube To Open Saturday: Brooklyn-Long Island City Link of City Line Also to Be Put in Operation". New York Evening Post. August 17, 1933. p. 18. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (November 18, 1976). "A Subway Elongatomus? Why, It's Preposterous!". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Second Avenue Subway Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Chapter 5b: Transportation—Subway and Commuter Rail" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2004. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Second Avenue Subway Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Figure 2-1: New York City Subway Service with Second Avenue Subway Line" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2004. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Second Avenue Subway Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Chapter 2: Project Alternatives" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2004. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "Second Avenue Subway Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Chapter 3: Description of Construction Methods and Activities" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2004. Retrieved October 17, 2018.

External linksEdit

MTA: Arts for Transit:

Google Maps Street View: