02 March 2011

The Wondrous Awfulness of the Fourth Avenue Subway Stop


I've cooled my heels plenty of times at the Fourth Avenue stop on the F line. Its infinite ugliness has never escaped me. But in the past I just cringed, shuddered, despaired and shielded my eyes. Was there even one square inch of it that wasn't desiccated, decrepit, peeling away or falling down? But lately I've come to actually marvel at the completeness of its horrid state. Some things are so appalling that they take on a certain grandeur. The Fourth Avenue subway stop may be one of them.

Apparently, this stop is one of three the MTA has committed to restoring by 2012. It's needed repair, but it almost makes me sad.







6 comments:

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Ha. Over the many years I've used this station, I've become a convert to its decrepit charms. If you have to commute to work every day, waiting for a train on an above ground platform is a big plus, and this is a good spot to start out. The light in the morning is beautiful. The inside stairways, underneath their layers of grime, are quite handsome, and I like that walkway that overlooks the newsstand, token booth etc. I wish they'd open up the platform windows when they renovate, but that isn't going to happen. Still, the entrance on the east side of Fourth will be reopened, after many years, and those Deco sign things on each side of Tenth will stay. If you live in a place for long enough, I think that you get seduced into liking all kinds of locations that might seem ugly,
or simply commonplace to others, and you develop an irrational loyalty to them.
I have photographed this station so often that it's becoming a bit sick! I have a bunch of pictures scattered at onemorefoldedsunset. I don't know if you've been to the New Utrecht station - I think you'd be impressed/appalled!

Your blog is really excellent. I'm so glad you came back.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Thanks, onemore.

Justin said...

You forgot to include how much crappier the station is now that they are doing that construction. That temporary platform is horrible!!!

onemorefoldedsunset said...

The temporary platform isn't great, but the view from the connecting stairway is amazing. I love standing up there while waiting for the train to pull in. Fourth Avenue gets off pretty lightly during the Culver Viaduct repairs. A plus side of the repairs at the station is that weird shift of perspective you get with the platform changes etc. I always like that kind of thing. Perhaps I've been hanging around the place far too long ...

ironrailsironweights said...

Chambers Street on the J/M manages to be appalling without a trace of grandeur.

Peter

David said...

This used to be my stop. I loved finding new bits of deco styling, like those tiny windows set higher up. Forgotten New York had some good info on it.
For years there was a thrift store in the "closed" side on 4th Ave, but I think it closed quite a few years ago.
I've always wondered if they were going to take the paint off that windowed bridge. How spectacular would that me? As long as they take the billboard(s) down, too. The station could be the jewel in the MTA crown.