The dawn of a new year has brought considerable excitement to residents of Manhattan’s storied Upper East Side, to Q line subway riders (myself included), to transit enthusiasts, and to admirers of public and contemporary art (me again!).
The multi-billion Second Avenue Subway project, decades in the making, opened with a bang on New Years Day 2017, debuting a reconfigured 63rd and Lexington Avenue Station, and three bright and spacious new stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street and Second Avenue, all serviced by the Q train.
It’s not often that we New Yorkers feel good about our subway stations, but what I saw blew me away. I won’t go into great detail*, as much has already been written, but will share some images of the permanent art on display.
Over the last 20+ years, commissioned public art has become much more commonplace in the City’s transit hubs. The art is usually added to rehabilitated stations. This time, the art and the stations where designed with each other in mind and the result is stunning!
Some of the murals and mosaics can be viewed by simply entering the stations before one reaches the turnstiles, like this one, by Chuck Close.
To see all of the art work, one can pay only $2.75, ride up to 96th Street, and then visit each stop: 86th, 72nd and 63rd on the way back downtown. There’s no need to pay $25 to visit a local art museum!
The slideshow below features images by Chuck Close at the 86th Street Station
Kudos to all who worked to complete these stations. They are worth a visit!
*For more on the history of the Second Avenue Subway: http://nyti.ms/2iGcmey