Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quiz: Is the Roosevelt Island Subway an IRT, BMT, or IND station?

The answer for those of you familiar with subway history is quite easy. The Roosevelt Island station is part of the Sixth Avenue Subway Line so it is an IND station. But if you did not know that fact you could simply look at the subway lamppost sitting outside the station and learn the answer based on the design of the lamppost.

P2240251-lamppost_bridge view

I admit I knew nothing about the lampposts’s design until yesterday but I had wondered why a station that opened on October 29, 1989 would install a lamppost with a historical design. I found out why when I read an article posted Wednesday, March 26th, on the New York Times City Room blog that discussed the different historical design elements that the MTA still adheres to in building and restoring stations. As a result because Roosevelt Island was built as an extension of the IND Sixth Avenue line it was built with a “KA” design lamppost.

lamppost designs

So even though the Roosevelt Island subway station opened well after the June 1940 unification of the three major subway systems we still have this single lamppost as a remnant recognizing the fact that our station is part of the legacy of the old Independent City Owned Rapid Transit Railroad, affectionately known as the IND. I am sure true subway buffs are not happy that a bus sign is attached to this lamppost but what can you do.

P2240254-lamppost_station view

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