Grand Central Gallery Annex

Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El: Photographs by Sid Kaplan

Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El: Photographs by Sid Kaplan

March 24, 2017  July 9, 2017

In 1955, a 17-year-old Sid Kaplan witnessed the dismantling of New York City’s Third Avenue Elevated line, and launched a 60-year photography career. Featuring over forty of Kaplan’s photographs taken between June 1955 and May 1956, alongside selected artifacts from the Transit Museum’s collections, Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El: Photographs by Sid Kaplan, captures a unique perspective of the removal of a hulking steel structure, the hard-working people who dismantled it, and the ever-changing landscape of New York City.


Downtown Brooklyn

Next Stop: Second Avenue SubwayNext Stop: Second Avenue Subway

Through September 2017

In celebration of the Second Avenue Subway’s recent debut in New York City, Next Stop: Second Avenue Subway, traces nearly 100 years of history, exploring how the Second Avenue line fits into New York’s past, present, and future transportation landscapes. “The line that almost never was” began with the visionary ideas of Daniel L. Turner in the 1920s, held an actual groundbreaking in the 1970s, and was ultimately realized on New Year’s Eve 2016 as part of a modern construction plan launched in 2007. Through historic maps, objects, and numerous images from the New York Transit Museum’s collections, the exhibit illustrates the multiple steps and backbreaking work needed to bring the Second Avenue Subway to life.

Next Stop: Second Avenue Subway is generously sponsored by AECOM and Skanska. Additional support is provided by Walsh Construction.

Exhibit Sponsor Logos

Bringing Back the City ExhibitBringing Back the City: Mass Transit Responds to Crisis

Ongoing through 2017

A new exhibit offering a unique perspective on the vital, often unseen, work of New York’s transit employees. Using the events of 9/11, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather events as examples, the exhibition reveals the critical role that mass transit personnel play in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters.  Through a vibrant display of objects, photographs, media, and personal accounts, the exhibition highlights the technical and professional skills needed to restore public transportation service and get New Yorkers moving again after crisis strikes.  Explore the exhibit online>> 

Bringing Back the City is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Major support is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Alstom. Additional support is provided by Interactive Elements Incorporated, Steven J. Vaccaro, Aksia LLC, di Domenico + Partners LLP, and Joseph and Tamra Lhota.

Art on the Tracks Image

Art on the Tracks: Teens Explore the End of the Line

Through February 2017

This summer, photographer John Sanderson and painter Janina McCormack led a 3-session workshop for 9th – 12th graders. The group learnedabout photography fundamentals and self-expression through studying Sanderson’s photographic series Railroad Landscapes, exploring the Transit Museum collection, and embarking on guided photography journeys to the Coney Island Yard, Van Cortlandt Park, Hudson Yards, and Willets Point. Now on view in Downtown Brooklyn, the images bear witness to the unique, and sometimes surprising, visions of each student.




Permanent Exhibits:

Ex Steel, Stone and Backbone

Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York’s Subways presents a look at the construction methods and labor required to build the city’s first subway line at the turn of the 20th Century. Historical artifacts, video and photography footage bring to life the dedication and tenacity of the workers who made this project possible.


GM Rolling Stock BRT Brooklyn Union Elevated Car 1407

Moving the Millions highlights the evolution of the subway and the major issues and events that influenced the development of the largest transportation network in North America.  Home to twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907, and a working signal tower, the Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block.


EX On the Streets Exhibit

On the Streets: New York’s Trolleys and Buses tells the story of above ground mobility and surface transit from the early 1800s to the present.  A 12-seat city bus, “fishbowl” bus cab, walk-don’t walk signs, parking meters, fire hydrants, traffic lights, and an array of other interactive “Street furniture” bring this exhibit to life. Visitors can also learn about the evolution of fuel technologies and its environmental impact.


Fare CoEX Fare Media Turnstilesllection traces the history of paper tickets, tokens, illegal slugs, MetroCards, and the many turnstile designs (both vintage and contemporary) that have moved commuters through the system since 1904.



Ex No Spitting Vintage Sign

No Spitting on the Platform depicts a selection of historic way-finding and platform etiquette signage from the Museum’s archives.



The Dr. GeoEX Dr. George T.F. Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Centerrge T.F Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Center features over 50 detailed scale models of trolleys and work cars, with a focus on Brooklyn.



Special Exhibit: Coney Island Museum

Five Cents to Dreamland at the Coney Island Museum

Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island

Opening March 12 at the Coney Island Museum 

From horse-drawn carriages, steamboats, and railroads, to the buses and subways of today, mass transportation has played a pivotal role in Coney Island’s development as a seaside resort, the home of the world’s first amusement parks and the densely populated neighborhood it became. Through objects, maps and images from the Museum’s collection, Five Cents to Dreamland traces the evolution of public transportation in Brooklyn and its storied connections to the wonders of Coney Island both past and present.