Art Underground in New York City

Have you ever been in a NYC Subway Station that was decorated with bold brass fixtures, tall tile arches, elegant wrought iron chandeliers and glistening colored glass skylights? No? Well, we haven’t either, but one such subway station remarkably does exist in our mysterious City.

They call it the “Hidden City Hall 6-train Station.” It was built in 1904 but closed
41 years later to accommodate a larger amount of commuters. During the time of
its opening only around 600 people would use it a day. Since it closed in 1945 it
has been boarded up and hidden from public view.

Prior to 9/11 New York City began to restore the secret City Hall station to become part of the Transit Museum but the plans were never followed through due to terrorist threats and security concerns. When the City Hall 6-train made the final turnabout for its return trip uptown, the
loop created a gap between it and platform that was eventually deemed by the City
unsafe for passengers.

Of course, safety concerns, illegal trespassing and boarded up passage ways mean
nothing to some of our mischievous, rebel Graffiti Artists born and raised here in
NYC. The Underbelly Project, a group of street artists have taken over the concrete
areas in this old abandoned station along with many others. They have turned it into
their own secret underground exhibit holding over a hundred murals accumulated
over time.

“Collectors can’t buy the art. The public can’t see it. And the only people with a chance of stumbling across it are the urban explorers who prowl the city’s hidden infrastructure or employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.”

Credit: PAC (infamous NYC graffitists and discoverer of the arts ample space.)

Unfortunately catching a glimpse of the Underbelly Project’s Secret City Hall exhibit
is very risky. Whether it’s running into rats or authority, our suggestion is to view
this sight an alternative way. Although it is not open to the general public for tours,
MTA used to force passengers off of the downtown 6 trains at the Brooklyn Bridge
Last stop. Today, MTA is allowing passengers to stay on it as the train makes its
turnaround through City Hall Station heading back uptown. A lot of people don’t
know this, but now you do! So grab a seat and take yourself on a loop through
history and today! If you dont have the opportunity, you can also watch the video Undercity, where an historian shows the station, check it out:

UNDERCITY from Andrew Wonder on Vimeo.

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