Abandoned Stations by Joseph Brennan. Copyright 2001, 2002.

18 St

18 St

Passenger service: October 1904 - November 1948.

Existing abandoned portions: 2 platforms (on tracks in service).

Touring: 6 trains, running between 14 St and 23 St. Look out the side windows, or the front door window if possible. The platforms are also visible from 4 5 trains, if no local train blocks the view.

construction and operation

18 St was part of the first New York subway, opened in 1904. Like most local stations on the line, it is just below street level to reduce stair height, so there is no mezzanine, and it has separate fare controls on platform level on each side. Its early history is similar to Worth St.

There was a streetcar line in East 18 St until 1913, a diagonal route called the Central Crosstown, running from the Christopher St Ferry on the Hudson River to the 23 St Ferry on the East River. It ran in 18 St from Broadway to Avenue A, returning in 19 St. However this was not an important line by 1900, and probably the station was sited simply to maintain a half-mile spacing between subway stops. The Ninth and Sixth Ave Els had 18 St stations where there was no crosstown streetcar.

Like other local stops, 18 St was originally about 200 feet long to accommodate five car trains. The platforms were extended in 1910 as they were at Worth St.

When the Board of Transportation embarked on a platform extension program after World War II, they decided to close 18 St rather than enlarge it. 18 St therefore still has the two short platforms.


The 14 St station downtown island platform was extended north into part of the space formerly occupied by a siding, while 23 St station was extended southward in 1948 with an entrance at 22 St.

A diagram of the 28 St station from The New York Subway / Its Construction and Equipment, published by the subway's lessee Interborough Rapid Transit in 1904, is equally applicable to the 18 St station. The detail shows the manhole, into which platforms were extended at both ends in 1910.

In an atmospheric photo by Mark Kavanagh, darkness is about to return to the 18 St station as a 6 train moves past.

Photo copyright by Mark Kavanagh. From http://www.trainweb.org/subwaymark/transit/US%20East/nyc_hr.htm

18 St was chosen as a typical station for publicity photos, perhaps because it had no unusual features.

In stark contrast to the modern photo, the view from the front of a train, just before opening in 1904, shows a well lit station ready for passengers.

Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners. From Rand, McNally and Company's Handy Guide to New York City, Chicago and New York: Rand, McNally and Company, 1908.

Another view of the brand new station shows the stairs and fare controls, with the track just out of frame to the right.

The stairway in center is one of the two exits on this side.

Entering passenger used the two entrance stairways, one of which is barely visible near the left. The dark wood ticket office was between the two entrance stairs, at the extreme left edge of the photo. Passengers were herded by the pipe railings to the employee at the ticket chopper seen just left of center. (See the station diagram above.)

Part of the design of the first subway was to let natural light into the stations with areas of thick glass sidewalk. A section can be seen at the top, and the well lit area in the near distance is under another section.

Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners. From King's Views of New York, New York: Moses King, 1915.

A Rand McNally street map of the 1920's shows 18 St station on the subway, shown in red. The Third Ave El, dark blue, also had a station at 18 St. The Broadway subway, green, did not, but its Union Square station extends to 16 St.

The portion of Fourth Ave from 17 St to 32 St was renamed Park Ave South after World War II.

The map from the Geographia Complete Street Guide of 1939 shows 18 St station.

A 1945 edition of the Hagstrom street map shows 18 St station.

A 1935 Red Book guide lists 18 St.

Photos of 18 St station can be found on the New York Subway Resources site, http://www.nycsubway.org.

More photos of 18 St station are at A Photographic History of the Stations of New York's First Subway Line.

Abandoned Stations