Saturday, November 26, 2022

Wallet Card with some great old subway-related signage

Lots of subway-related old signage in this post. The nature of some of these signs means I couldn't always get close to them, but they are worth opening in a new window and zooming in.

Starting out with a two-fer at the 14th Street/6th Avenue station. You have a reference to the Independent Subway . . .

and the H&M Tunnels (now known as the PATH Train). Both of these names were obsolete by the end of the 1960s.
Some old IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit) signage can be found at a few points in the Chambers Street Station. The IRT, IND and BMT merged in 1940 to create the MTA, but were still officially known by these initials until 1967.
This one got turned into "ART" by an "artist".
This one was in Brooklyn, near Cadman Plaza. The Hotel St. George was the largest hotel in Brooklyn when it was built in 1885. It was a luxury hotel with celebrity clientele before World War II. During and after the war, it served primarily as military housing, and like many NYC hotels in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily had a very poor clientele who were between homes. The hotel was burned down in 1995, an accidental fire caused by a resident attempting to steal copper wires from a vacant part of the building. The spot today is home to student housing for a variety of universities.
Some more IRT signage, this one near Wall Street.
I happened to catch this one by luck - the modern MTA-New York City Subway sign fading away to reveal an New York City Transit - M sign underneath. The M logo was in use from 1968 to 1994.
That logo replaced a stylized TA logo that was only used for a short time, from 1962 to 1968. This is believed to be the only spot where you can spot this short-lived logo still in use, way behind a fence in a train yard near Coney Island. You'll have to zoom in to see it, this was as close as I could get.

Finally, here is what I think is the coolest sign I found. It's in a subway station in Brooklyn, on the G line as you can see, and features a c. 1950s "Subway Sun" sign imploring commuters not to litter on the tracks. These were placed on the columns in the middle of the tracks. The right side of the sign has been ripped away, but the left still reminds riders that litter on the tracks is a hazard. Here's a link to a 2011 Ephemeral New York post with a closer look at a similar sign, that like most others of it's kind has been removed by the MTA. This one is probably the last of it's kind still standing.



  1. I like that faded hotel sign the best. And I'm sure that it wasn't a problem to folks living there, but as an outsider, I don't know how anyone kept track of all of those initials.

  2. Love how the tile H&M Tunnels sign has stood the test of time. For some reason... seeing some of these photos reminded me of Planet of the Apes.