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The Insider's Connection

MTA

The “Brightest” Subway Station – 49th Street

Do you ever notice something aesthetically unusual in New York and wonder about its history? Thousands of commuters pass through the bright orange, open, columnless 49th Street subway station at 7th avenue every day and likely notice – it looks nothing like NYC’s other stations! How did this happen? In the 1970s, the MTA was expanding and funding the enhancement of existing stations that needed an upgrade. The architectural trends at the time were about clean lines, bold colors, and unobstructed spaces and when architect Philip Johnson was commissioned to spearhead the $2.5 million renovation of the 49th Street subway station, he had “cheer” in mind. This is the theater district, and the subway, he thought, was ready for some zest and color. The 49th Street station previously looked similar to most others in New York City – white tiling…

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November 5, 2019

The Roy Lichtenstein Mural in Times Square Subway Station

When visiting a city, where do you go to look for art? How does an artist’s view of their home shift the narrative the place tells about itself? How many of the 500,000 commuters that pass through the Times Square Subway Station every day miss the opportunity to see a world-renowned artist’s original mural simply because they don’t know to look for it? When you’re at Times Square-42nd Street transferring from the yellow line (N/Q/R/W) to the red line (1/2/3) look up; the 53-foot enamel-on-metal mural above your head was unveiled in September 2002, and is significant piece of public art in New York City History. See if you can pause in the fast-moving crowd of commuters to make some sense of the mural’s fragments. The work was commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit program for this exact location…

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October 21, 2019

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