|28th Street station back in 1904|
28th Street is on the IRT Lexington Avenue line (as have been most of the stations I've posted so far...) and is served primarily by the 6 train. The 4 stops here on its' late night schedule when it runs local. The station itself is a four track local station with side platforms. The two express tracks run at a slightly lower level through this station than the local tracks that serve the platforms.
Presently there are no passageways to cross over or under to the opposite platform. Once upon a time there was a cross-under, which has since been closed. If I had to venture a guess as to when the passageway closed, I would say it probably got sealed off around the time of the final platform expansion in 1948 as the platform is a bit narrow for a staircase in the area where the passageway was. The station layout itself is pretty similar to the rest of the local IRT stops, Throughout the course of its existence, the platforms in the station have been extended from their original length of 200 feet. In 1910, the platforms gained an extra 25 feet, and in 1948 they were extended to their present length of 520 feet.
The most noticeable difference between 28th Street and the rest of the stations that I've posted so far are the station plaques. Use of letters and numbers in the manner they were for the plaque here was not a typical design. The original ceramic work in the station was, like every other station we've seen so far, done by the Grueby Faience company because Heins and La Farge, who were the architects for the IRT station favored their work. In fact, by November 1902 the company had been given so much work for the subway that the architects were ordered to not give them any more orders until they caught up with the backlog they had already been commissioned to do. Outside of their work for the subway, the company was, at the time enjoying a healthy popularity, which also didn't help with the backlog. In fact, Grueby Faience ceramics were also used in the bases of Tiffany lamps, among other applications. During the above mentioned platform extensions, the architects and engineers who worked on those projects tried to replicate the original ceramics for use on the extended parts of the platform. The key word there, is try, because personally, I think the newer knock-offs are pretty hideous. Then again, I've gotten good at spotting original Faience ceramics - and I'm sure the average commuter probably doesn't notice or care, so it doesn't bother them. By and large, the renovations over the years have tried to remain faithful to the original design of the station, but one of the nicest original features is long since gone. The station originally had a decorative plaster ceiling with fancy mouldings. Today, the ceiling is just a plain painted arched ceiling, and just like tons of other station ceilings. (The plaster ceiling can be seen in the black and white photo at the top of the post.)
One of the passages for the station leads directly into the New York Life building. Those entrances have some interesting looking old signs instead of the typical globes. Interestingly, from 1837 to 1889, the site of the New York Life building was occupied by the depot for the New York and Harlem and New York and New Haven Railroads, which were both predecessors to the New York Central and New Haven Railroad respectively. The presence of the station is also reportedly one of the deciding factors for New York Life choosing the location for their headquarters.
There is also an art installation here entitled "7 Waves for Twenty Eight" on the uptown platform, It was installed in 1996 and done by Gerald Marks. It seems to have been commissioned for Arts for Transit if the artist's mid-90's website is to believed, but oddly enough it is nowhere to be found on the Arts For Transit site or the guidebook the MTA put together with the art installations throughout all the MTA agencies. (Yes, bridges are also included). That said, the piece is there - I'm not sure if the typical AFT plaque is next to it though. According to the artist's site, the piece is a giant computer animated mural.
Actual Arts For Transit piece or not, it's still an interesting addition to the station, although it's no Hive, which as discussed previously is my favorite AFT piece.
"The mural will be built into glass blocks in which the curvature of the glass inside the block forms cylindrical lenses. Marks plans to use the lenticular (lens-like) properties of the block along with the appropriate lights, projectors, lenses, filters, in the space behind the wall to create a 3-D illusion art display. The mural will appear to move as you ride into the station"
7 Waves for Twenty Eight - Gerald Marks (1996)
Below is a slideshow of shots from the station. As always, if your medium of choice for reading this doesn't like embeds from Flickr, you can look at them at this link.