|New York City Subway station (rapid transit)|
|Address||West 190th Street & Fort Washington Avenue|
New York, NY 10040
|Locale||Washington Heights, Hudson Heights|
|Line||IND Eighth Avenue Line|
|Services||A (all times)|
|Transit connections||NYCT Bus: M4, M98|
|Depth||140 feet (43 m)|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||September 10, 1932|
|Accessible||ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; platforms are not ADA-accessible|
|Former/other names||190th Street–Overlook Terrace|
|east side of Fort Washington Avenue, west side of Bennett Avenue|
|Passengers (2018)||1,423,142 4.8%|
|Rank||304 out of 424|
|Next north||Dyckman Street: A|
|Next south||181st Street: A|
190th Street Subway Station (IND)
(190th Street-Overlook Terrace Subway Station)
Ft. Washington Ave. entrance building (2014)
|MPS||New York City Subway System MPS|
|NRHP reference #||05000225|
|Added to NRHP||March 30, 2005|
190th Street (originally 190th Street–Overlook Terrace) is a station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, served by the A train at all times. It is located on Fort Washington Avenue near its intersection with Cabrini Boulevard at Margaret Corbin Circle, about three blocks north of 190th Street.
The station is close to Fort Tryon Park and the Mother Cabrini Shrine in the Hudson Heights neighborhood of Manhattan's Washington Heights area. The Cloisters medieval art museum, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is located in the park, about a 10-minute walk north from the station's Fort Washington Avenue exit. An additional exit through the side of the hill leads to Bennett Avenue and provides access to the Broadway Valley area of Washington Heights.
Construction for a station at 190th Street began in 1928 by the New York City Board of Transportation as part of a subway expansion. Squire J. Vickers, the chief architect of the Dual System, helped design the 190th Street station. He was responsible for most stations on the Independent Subway System, and being a painter, he did tile work for the station. Station construction was completed in 1932 along with all the other stations on the line between Inwood–207th Street and Chambers Street–Hudson Terminal, and service began on September 10, 1932. Construction of the whole line cost $191,200,000.
On December 28, 1950, the Board of Transportation issued a report concerning the construction of bomb shelters in the subway system. Five deep stations in Washington Heights, including the 190th 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.
In 1951, researchers from New York University concluded that in the event of a nuclear attack, the 190th Street station would provide adequate shelter from fallout. This was ascertained after the researchers conducted tests on cosmic rays inside deep subway stations in the area.
On September 5, 1957, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) began allowing free public access to the elevators at the 181st and 190th Street stations. Though the elevators were intended for subway riders, local residents paid the subway fare to avoid climbing about eight stories up Fort Washington Hill. Bills were proposed in the New York State Legislature to put the elevators out of fare control, but these failed in committee. The NYCTA agreed once Joseph Zaretzki, the local State Senator, requested the change.
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 190th 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 190th 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. The elevator attendants currently serve as a way to reassure passengers as the elevators are the primary 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. 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.
This station's elevators will be closed between February 2020 and February 2021 for elevator repair, though the station will remain open via the exit to Bennett Avenue. It is unclear whether the elevator operators will keep their jobs after their replacement.
Bank of elevators in southern exit. Note: Platforms and street level are not accessible
|M||Mezzanine||Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines, tunnel to Bennett Avenue|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Northbound||← toward Inwood–207th Street (Dyckman Street)|
|Southbound||→ toward Far Rockaway, Lefferts Boulevard (all except nights), or Rockaway Park (PM rush hours) (181st Street) →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
The station has two tracks and two side platforms. It is the third-to-last station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line proceeding northbound. The station's platforms are 660 feet (200 m) long, a typical length of station platforms built by the Independent Subway System, and the station itself is 50 feet (15 m) wide.:5 A small mezzanine is located above the platforms toward the northern end of the station.:7 The platform level contains a double-barrel-vaulted ceiling supported by an arcade in the center. The ceiling is relatively low, in contrast to other nearby deep-level stations such as 181st Street or 168th Street stations on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, where the vaults are larger.:5 Concrete retaining walls also side the station and fit into the structure. Maroon-and-black plaques with white lettering reading "190-OVERLOOK TER" are located on the walls nearest the stairways to the mezzanine. Smaller maroon, black, and white mosaics with the number "190" are located within some of the alcoves. Within the alcoves that do not contain the "190" mosaic, there are black tiles with white numerals reading "190". The remaining tiling in the alcoves is white.:6 A ramp leads from the northbound platform to an exit passageway leading to Bennett Avenue.
Located 140 feet (43 m) below ground level, it is one of the deepest stations in the entire system by distance to ground level; it is even deeper than the 34th Street–Hudson Yards station, the deepest station in the system by elevation below sea level.[a] Although this is an extremely deep station, the Bennett Avenue entrance is at a lower elevation than the platforms, so the ramp slopes down. Additionally, Dyckman Street, the next station north, is only one level below the surface, in contrast to the 190th Street station.
Contrary to the station's name, there are no exits to either 190th Street or Overlook Terrace. However, the station has entrances both to Hudson Heights, on top of the ridge, and to Bennett Avenue in the valley of Washington Heights, on the bottom.
A tunnel leading eastward from the station provides access to Bennett Avenue, midblock between Broadway and 192nd Street, with an entrance built right into the rock face.:6 The 207th Street-bound platform contains an exit-only (one turnstile and one gate) ramp that bypasses fare control and leads to the passageway to the Bennett Avenue entrance. Passengers used to be able to enter the station from the ramp, which is evidenced by tiled mosaics.
The entrance at the top of the ridge is located at the end of Fort Washington Avenue, at Margaret Corbin Circle. The station was built while The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park were under construction, making it possible for the entrance on Fort Washington Avenue to have a stone facade to harmonize it with the entrance to the Cloisters several hundred feet north of the station's entrance. The head house is a single-story rectangular stone building with a black hip roof. The longer sides are on the western and eastern elevations, and each contain three bays. The northern elevation contains three small arches, of which the center arch contained a doorway into the headhouse. The southern elevation is abutted by stone stairs leading down to the station's elevators and a play area within Fort Tryon Park. A lamppost and a steel sign with the word "SUBWAY" is located on the sidewalk of Fort Washington Avenue at the top of these stairs.:7
The station maintains three elevators from the mezzanine in one tower at its eastern end, and has done so since its opening. The elevators lead upward to the basement of the Fort Washington Avenue headhouse.:6 The headhouse basement contains brick walls and a concrete floor and ceiling, and formerly contained a token booth.:8 The elevators were formerly only open during the daytime, and required the payment of a fare to use since the fare control for both street entrances to the station was originally located just inside the street doors. Since 1957, the elevators have been available for use by pedestrians going between Bennett Avenue and Fort Washington Avenue without paying a fare; a similar situation exists at 181st Street, the next station downtown, as well as at 191st Street, on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line. The elevators to the mezzanine still utilize elevator operators, one of the few stations in the system to do so. The station is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and thus cannot be used by patrons with wheelchairs, because access from the fare control area to the platforms is only possible via stairways. There is a staircase available in case of an emergency.
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