Subway Station Art: Lexington Avenue-63rd Street Station

I’ve written before about the Second Avenue subway line, which opened for the first time on January 1 of this year. Each of the three new stations has unique public art. (I wrote about those stations here, here, and here.) The new subway line connects with the rest of the system at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street Station. When the new platform was added at that station, a new entrance was added as well at 3rd Avenue and 63rd Street. MTA Arts & Design added art on three levels: first, on the platform level next to the elevators from the platform to the mezzanine; second, on the mezzanine level; and third, at the street level. All of the art celebrates the old elevated train line that was demolished in 1942.

First, the platform level. There’s a semi-transparent set of panels separating the elevator area from one end of the track. Superimposed upon those panels are stylized photographs of the old elevated train line.

On the mezzanine level is my favorite art at this station, artist Jean Shin’s installation, Elevated. Shin’s work on this level focuses on the people in the neighborhood who would have been the elevated train’s riders before its demolition.

Finally, at the street level are more of Shin’s mosaics – these showing the girders that held up the old elevated line’s tracks being torn down.

If you’d like to see this subway station art for yourself, you can take the F or Q to the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station. Make sure you enter or exist from the 3rd Avenue entrance/exit, as the Lexington Avenue entrance/exit does not provide access to this art.

32 thoughts on “Subway Station Art: Lexington Avenue-63rd Street Station

  1. I’m with you in favouring the mezzanine level. The facial expressions are amazing, especially in the fourth one: there’s a story there! However I like the street level ones too – the act of tearing down is so much part of the history. A great idea to have the history palimpsested!

  2. These are wonderful and you captured them so well. We have a whole new tube line being built – Crossrail is its construction name but it will be the Elizabeth Line when opened next year. I haven’t heard what if any station art is planned but I do hope they do something like this!!!

  3. This is the first time I learned about these wonderful mosaics and love the elevated segment as growing up in East Harlem our windows faced the the Third Ave El–and I remember what a change to the neighborhood especially around the area of 63 Street when the El was torn down and thanks for the tips that these are at the Third Ave entrance. Always enjoy your posts!

  4. This is a lovely post about this station and the art, it truly is beautiful. I pass through this station several times a week and almost daily people are taking photos of it all. NYC/MTA did a wonderful job on this station.

  5. Love Jean Shin’s black and white work. As always, thanks for lovely photos. The NYC subway art is amazing and I’ll never get the opportunity to see it all. So it’s great to be able to see it through your lens.

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