HOW TO TOUR OLD CITY HALL STATION
In 1904, New York City’s very first subway ride left from the City Hall station amidst great civic pride. Designed by renowned architects Heins & LaFarge, the station featured innovative vaulted tile ceilings by master artisan Rafael Guastavino. Its elegant chandeliers, leaded skylights, and graceful curves inspired awe among visitors.
Though its track is still active as a turnaround for the 6 line, trains no longer stop at Old City Hall station. New York Transit Museum members have the opportunity to explore this New York landmark through exclusive guided tours.
- Old City Hall station tours begin aboveground with a historical walk in the area, followed by a visit to the station itself. Tours last approximately 90 minutes from beginning to end, run rain or shine, and require walking, standing, and stair climbing.
- Tickets cost $50 per person and sell out very quickly.
- Personal photography and video recording are permitted in Old City Hall station. However, tripods and stands may not be used. Commercial photography and video recording are not permitted. Audio or video recording of tour guides requires pre-authorization through the Museum’s press department. Permission to photograph may be revoked at any time.
- Children must be 10+ to attend an Old City Hall station tour, and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- All ticket sales are final. Should you be unable to attend the tour on the date you reserved, the full price of unused tickets may be treated as a donation to the Transit Museum and is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The Museum is not able to reschedule reservations to another tour date.
- Old City Hall station is not available for film shoots, photo shoots, or private events.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting on the tour.
1. Be a Transit Museum member. Since there are a limited number of tour spots, we reserve them as a privilege of Transit Museum membership. You can buy as many tickets as there are people covered by your membership. For example, to buy two tour tickets, you’ll need a Dual 2 membership or higher. See the chart below for a full list of ticket allowances for each level. Please note that Child tickets on Family level membership and higher are only for youths ages 10-17. Children under 10 are not permitted on the Old City Hall station tour. Adults may not be substituted for children’s spots on any tours. Museum guest passes are valid only for Museum admission, not special tours.
2. Watch our email newsletter for new tour dates. We schedule a block of tours and release tickets three times a year, usually in April (for tours taking place May – August), August (for tours taking place September – December), and December (for tours taking place January – April). If you’ve just joined and see that tours are sold out, there will be more chances to buy tickets during your year of membership. Sign up for our email newsletter here.
3. Create an account in our online ticketing system. If you bought your membership online, you have already set this up! If you’ve never bought tickets from us online before, create an account here. You do not need your membership number to buy tickets. Also, note that our ticketing website is different from our online store and the two accounts are not connected.
4. Sign in to buy tickets by 10am the day they go on sale. Tours tend to sell out very fast that morning, often within the first hour! Tickets cost $50 per person. Here are answers to some other frequently asked questions about buying members’ tickets.
5. Submit the required security clearance paperwork to confirm your spot on the tour. If you do not submit your signed release form and copy of a government-issued photo ID by the stated deadline you will not be permitted on the tour and you will not receive a refund.