33 Street is a very interesting original IRT station. The stop has two side platforms and the express tracks are a bit beneath the local tracks (they rise up fairly steeply before the station platforms) due to the twin tunnels trains go through just north of the station to go on the sides of the trolley tunnel beneath Park Avenue between 33 and 39 Street that was built before the subway, opening in 1870 some 30 years before through Murray Hill. The tunnel is now used for vehicles it was two-way until just a few years ago when due to its narrowness it became just one lane for northbound traffic only. The station was recently renovated. The northern portion is the original 1904 station and has been restored, the southern portion the 1950s extension style.
The original portion of the station has very high ceilings and eagle terra-cotta reliefs with little 33s inside them, one has been replaced by a flat mosaic replica. They are at the top on the two floor high ceiling that also still has much of the original molding, including 33RD St mosaic name tablets with the standard early IRT boarders. This portion also has some vintage looking light fixtures not just the standard track florescent lights. The entrances even have some original (or replica) fencing with narrow round posts, two banks of turnstiles lead from the downtown platform to single street stairs at the NW and SW corners of 33 Street and Park Avenue South. The uptown platform has the still open token booth and a single streetstair to the NE corner and two to the SE corner. The extension of the station begins at about the fourth car (from the north), the ceiling gets noticeably lower, there is a green border at the top next to the ceiling, interrupted by simple white on blue 33s mosaics, the columns are tiled white with a bit of tan on the top. On the uptown platform a bank of turnstiles with the token booth now removed leads to two streetstairs at the SE corner of 32 Street and Park Avenue. The downtown platform has just high turnstiles out to two streetstairs at the SW corner.
Arts For Transit at 33 Street
Lariat Seat Loops, 1997
By James Garvey
|Page 1|Page 2|
|(33n61) An express train zoom bys lower than the local tracks|
|(33n65) The northern end of the downtown platform|
|(33n69) black 33s on a platform column|
|(33n613) The uptown platform exit|
|(33n617) The uptown fare control area with the token booth|
|Page 1|Page 2|