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The elaborately tiled City Hall subway station in New York City a€” still extant but now closed to the public, alas a€” used the Guastavino touch to convince wary city dwellers to head underground for a train trip.
These ceilings grace landmarks that include state capitols, Grand Central Terminal and Carnegie Hall a€” as well as some more ordinary buildings. A closeup of the bar in New York City's Vanderbilt Hotel shows the intricate detail of the Guastavino Co.'s elegant ceiling work. Built in 1916, the firehouse has bright red doors, gleaming trucks and a narrow, gently arched ceiling over the entryway. A Guastavino ceiling in the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Guastavinos designed stunning private spaces, too, for Rockefellers, Astors and Vanderbilts. New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades.
However, thanks to an immediate need to expand the original IRT line with newer, longer cars, the City Hall Station was closed just a few decades later on December 31, 1945. Although it would spend the next few decades closed to the public, the tracks were still used as the turnaround point for the 6 train after its final Brooklyn Bridge stop. About a decade ago, New York City began the long and arduous process of restoring the City Hall Station as New York’s transit museum, but security concerns that started before September 11, 2001 fully killed the idea after the twin towers fell. If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and view the City Hall Station as the train makes its turnaround. If tourist get off at this stop would they have to wait for another train to make its way around or is there an alternative way out.

I have a copy of Lost New York (Google Play, Amazon) which has a bunch of amazing photos of buildings and subway stations in New York.
There are also a number of books that credit photos of abandoned stations on Amazon, however I’m not as familiar with their contents. We're a creative community with a mission: To rescue all inspiring and beautiful pictures (and videos) lost in the depths of the web. The underside of the arch is lined with white tiles arranged in a ziggy-zaggy herringbone pattern. But Ochsendorf says the vaulting is in good condition a€” and color photographs make you itch to go underground to see for yourself. The line, opened in 1904, was intended to be a showpiece and crown jewel of the new subway system.
The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer.
In fact there is a bulletin specifically telling us to NOT kick anyone off at Brooklyn Bridge. To attend, you have to have to be a member of the New York Transit Museum and be ready to act quickly.
He's inviting everyone to join the hunt a€” to look for artistically placed thin, colored tile, arranged in vaults, and to let him know what they find. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium.
Unlike the rest of the line, City Hall featured tall tile arches, brass fixtures, and skylights that ran along the entire curve of the station — a sort of miniature Grand Central Station.

Brooklyn Bridge downtown is treated as a regular stop, and conductors are not supposed to waste any extra time there. In fact, befitting the elegance of the station, it was even the chosen place for hanging the commemorative plaques recognizing the achievement of building the underground train system. But that little entryway ceiling has some distinctive touches a€” the tiles, the pattern a€” that are being noticed with no little respect at the nearby National Building Museum.
They were like master masons transported here from the Gothic era, men who knew how to build the correct shapes to make their spaces stand up and stay incredibly durable, strong and long-lasting.
Photographs, diagrams, drawings and scale models show the beauty and breadth of the work of the Guastavino family a€” some one-thousand vaults and domes and ceilings in 40 states.
It's a cross-section reproduction of the fireproof vaulted ceiling they did in 1889 at the Boston Public Library.
MIT professor John Ochsendorf, who curated the Building Museum exhibit, says the City Hall Station featured chandeliers and skylights, and green, tan and cream-colored tile work in intricate patterns a€” "the Mona Lisa of subway stations," someone once observed. They would really do the detailed design of these vaults, and the architects trusted them a€” because they were masters a€” to do what was best." Ochsendorf, who teaches architecture and engineering at MIT, says at the peak of its success, the Guastavino Co. He had the Guastavinos pile more than 500 pounds per square foot on top of their tiled arch to test its strength.

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