Our century-old subway system (and the world’s largest!) is a quintessential part of NYC, and this guided tour will take your deep underground to uncover all the secrets and fascinating history of our transit system and beyond.
The “Underground Subway” walking tour will explore spaces even the most seasoned commuter might not know about, and share stories — like of the very first subway which was built illegally under the cover of night, and many other surprising tales.
Using the 6 train as your own ten-car time machine, you’ll ride through and see abandoned stations that riders unknowingly pass by everyday, including the famed City Hall Station, which was the first-ever line of the New York City Subway. Opened in 1904, it was intended to be the pièce de résistance of the entire transit system.
As you take a look inside, you’ll be absolutely mesmerized by the beautiful architecture, with similarities of a cathedral design peeking through. From vaulted ceilings, to brass chandeliers, there’s no station that’s quite as aesthetically pleasing as this one. It’s located just beneath the Municipal Building, in what used to be the epicenter of the city at that time.
You might be wondering why a perfectly good subway station isn’t in use anymore? As the years have passed and the trains have gotten bigger, the platform itself simply can’t accommodate the larger trains and the distance of the gap became unsafe for passengers entering and exiting.
This fascinating subway tour will end in one of the latest transportation hubs of lower Manhattan where you will discuss the history mass transit in NYC.
Other highlights include:
- Learning about the comically short route of the mythical “Subway before the Subway,” Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit System
- Seeing the architectural ghosts of the now nearly forgotten, and partially abandoned, Chambers Street station then nicknamed the “Grand Central of Downtown”
- Discover the remnants of Union Station as you learn about a hidden art installation thousands of riders walk by everyday
Make sure you bring your Metro Card because you’ll need to swipe twice!