The Interborough Rapid Transit subway opened on October 27, 1904 with 28 stations along a 9.1-mile line extending from City Hall to 145th Street. Since it first opened in 1904, New York’s subway has been the fastest and most popular mode of personal transportation in the city. Today, it is the largest 24-hour operating subway system in the world, with 472 stations, over 800 track miles and a fleet of more than 6,000 passenger cars.
Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the stories of mass transportation – extraordinary engineering feats, workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, communities that were drastically transformed, and the ever-evolving technology, design, and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Celebrate Subway Day with us on Wednesday, October 27th:
Virtual Old City Hall Experience!
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.
In celebration of opening day, on October 27th join us online as we dive into the creation of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, early subway construction, and the City Beautiful movement that led to that momentous day. In this virtual experience, we’ll look closely at the decorative flourishes of the decommissioned station with historic photographs from the Museum’s collection, maps, architectural drawings, and photos of the station today.