|New York City Subway station (rapid transit)|
Renovated platform view
|Address||West 181st Street & Saint Nicholas Avenue|
New York, NY 10033
|Line||IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line|
|Services||1 (all times)|
|Transit connections|| NYCT Bus: M3, Bx3, Bx11, Bx13, Bx35, Bx36|
GWB Bus Station (at 179 St)
|Depth||120 feet (37 m)|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||May 30, 1906|
|Accessible||ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; platforms are not ADA-accessible|
|Passengers (2018)||3,605,435 3.7%|
|Rank||132 out of 424|
|Next north||191st Street: 1|
|Next south||168th Street: temporarily closed for construction|
157th Street (next stop due to construction): 1
181st Street Subway Station (IRT)
|MPS||New York City Subway System MPS|
|NRHP reference #||05000224|
|Added to NRHP||March 30, 2005|
181st Street is a local station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of St. Nicholas Avenue and 181st Street in Washington Heights, Manhattan, it is served by the 1 train at all times.
This station will be closed between March 2021 and February 2022 for elevator repair.
The West Side Branch of the first subway was extended northward to a temporary terminus of 221st Street and Broadway on March 12, 1906 with the station at 181st Street not yet open. The 181st Street station opened on May 30, 1906, and on this date express trains on the Broadway branch began running through to 221st Street, eliminating the need to transfer at 157th Street to shuttles.
In 1948, platforms on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line from 103rd Street to 238th Street were lengthened to 514 feet (157 m) to allow full ten-car express trains to platform. Previously the stations could only platform six-car local trains. The platform extensions were opened in stages. On April 6, 1948, the platform extension opened for stations from 103rd Street to Dyckman Street, with the exception of 125th Street.
On December 28, 1950, the New York City Board of Transportation issued a report concerning the construction of bomb shelters in the subway system. Five deep stations in Washington Heights, including the 181st Street station, were considered to be ideal for being used as bomb-proof shelters. The program was expected to cost $104,000,000. These shelters were expected to provide limited protection against conventional bombs, while providing protection against shock waves and air blast, as well as from the heat and radiation from an atomic bomb. To become suitable as shelters, the stations would require water-supply facilities, first-aid rooms, and additional bathrooms.
The station reopened on November 22, 1999 upon the completion of elevator installation. The entrance at the southeast corner of 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue remained closed until early 2000.
In 2004, the number of elevator attendants at the station was reduced to one per station as a result of budget cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The agency had intended to remove all the attendants, but kept one in each station after many riders protested. The change saved $1.2 million a year. In November 2007, the MTA proposed savings cuts to help reduce the agency's deficit. As part of the plan, all elevator operators at 181st Street, along with those in four other stations in Washington Heights, would have been cut. On December 7, 2007, the MTA announced that it would not remove the remaining elevator operators at 181st Street, along with those in four other stations in Washington Heights. The move was intended to save $1.7 million a year, but was not implemented due to pushback from elected officials and residents from the area. In October 2018, the MTA again proposed removing the elevator operators at the five stations, but this decision was reversed after dissent from the Transport Workers' Union.
The elevator attendants currently serve as a way to reassure passengers as the elevators are the only entrance to the platforms, and passengers often wait for the elevators with an attendant. The attendants at the five stations are primarily maintenance and cleaning workers who suffered injuries that made it hard for them to continue doing their original jobs.
During the station's construction in the mid-1900s, the Fort George Mine Tunnel was being built to take the Interborough Rapid Transit Company's Broadway–Seventh Avenue line through upper Manhattan. Due to the steep terrain, the tunnel had to be mined using explosives. During construction on October 24, 1903, a 300-ton boulder, weakened by such an explosive, gave way, killing 10 miners. Six miners were killed instantly, while eight were injured; four later died of their injuries. The dead miners consisted of eight Italian immigrants, the foreman from Italy, and an electrician from Germany.
On August 16, 2009, at around 10:30 pm, a 25-foot section of the bricks lining the 35-foot high curved ceiling of the station collapsed onto both uptown and downtown tracks and platforms. Nobody was injured in the incident. This caused suspension of 1 service between 168th Street and Dyckman Street stations in both directions for eight days with free shuttle buses providing replacement. Full end-to-end service on the 1 was restored on August 24, except trains skipped 181st Street. The station reopened to passengers on August 31, 2009.
There was also a partial ceiling collapse at the same station in 2007, according to Judith M. Kunoff, Chief Architect for the NYC Transit Authority. According to NY1, the repairs to the station cost $30 million and did not start until the end of 2012.
Elevators in mezzanine. Note: Platforms and street level are not accessible
|M||Mezzanine||Fare control, station agent|
|Side platform, doors open on the right|
|Northbound||← toward Van Cortlandt Park (191st Street)|
|Southbound||→ toward South Ferry (157th Street)|
(Temporarily closed: 168th Street) →
|Side platform, doors open on the right|
This underground station has two tracks and two side platforms, and is 120 feet (37 m) below the surface. As a result, it has four elevators that lead from the fare control level to one level above the platforms. On this level, a footbridge near the northern end of the station connects the side platforms. When the station opened on May 30, 1906, there had only been two elevators to the platforms, but in 1909, two more elevators were added.
All elevators are capable of traveling one level further down to the uptown platform, but this area has been closed and walled off.
There is also a second footbridge near the south end of the station. However, it is used only as an emergency exit, and contains a staircase, so all riders must take an elevator to enter or exit the station except in emergencies.
The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. As part of the Multiple Property Submission of the Historic Resources of the New York City Subway System, the 181st Street Station is significant in the areas of transportation, community planning, engineering, and architectural design.
There are two exits to this station at either eastern corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 181st Street. The northeast-corner entrance is inside a building and the southeast-corner entrance is on the street. The fare control area contains a shopping arcade that includes a deli and clothing store.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 181st Street (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line).|