Downtown Brooklyn straphanger trivia
October 18, 2016
If there’s one thing Downtown Brooklyn has in abundance, it’s the endless options of transit lines that run through it. You can get here directly from nearly any point in New York City (and many parts of Long Island), making our neighborhood one of the most convenient areas in the entire city.
But it’s not just the fact that 13 subway lines run through Downtown Brooklyn that makes us notable. Our neighborhood trains and stations also boast some pretty intriguing straphanger facts:
Musical Spotlight on Hoyt-Schermerhorn
The Hoyt-Schermerhorn station may be the connecting point between the G and A/C lines, but back in 1987 the station also served as the set of Michael Jackson’s iconic Bad video. The mezzanine of the station was used in the 18-minute short film directed by Martin Scorsese and also features actor Wesley Snipes alongside the King of Pop.
First Link to Manhattan
Downtown Brooklyn’s Borough Hall Station was Brooklyn’s first subway station and its first underground link to Manhattan. The historic site now serves as the system’s 4, 5 subway lines, running the lines through Downtown Brooklyn and further into the borough.
Second Avenue Subway Connection
The Court Street Station (now the home of the New York City Transit Museum) was originally intended to be a connection to the Second Avenue Subway from Brooklyn into Manhattan. While its future activity remains unclear, it may again see rapid transit run through it if the line is built further into Brooklyn.
Multiple Jay Street-MetroTech Entrances
The neighborhood has two new subway station entrances to catch the B, Q, and R lines. The first remodeled entrance serves the R line at Jay Street-MetroTech (right next to AvaDoBro and AVA Brew) and the other is an extension of the DeKalb Avenue Station, on the Flatbush Avenue end of City Point.
Money Train at Jay Street
370 Jay Street (the future home of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress) was once the drop-off point for the “money train.” From 1951 to 2006, this train collected all the fares from the subways and buses and deposited it in a secret room for the Department of Revenue. In fact, 370 Jay Street long served as the Command Center for the entire subway system, and was the subject of a recent exhibit at the New York Transit Museum.
Unused Nevins Street Platform
While there are many unused stations and platforms throughout the city’s subway system, one in particular has peaked historians’ interest for its completed platforms, tunnels, and tile work. The unused platforms at Nevins Street station run for some distance nearly to the Pacific Street platform along 4th Avenue, currently located at the Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center station.
Secret Tunnel in Cobble Hill
There is a “secret tunnel” under Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill that was built in the 1800s and holds the distinction of the oldest rail tunnel underneath a city street in North America. One of New York’s secret treasures, the tunnel ran for about 2,517 feet between Columbia Street and Boerum Place, and is now registered on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Fully Abandoned Station
There is one fully abandoned subway station in Downtown Brooklyn (not counting the Transit Museum and the unused Hoyt-Schermerhorn platforms), and that’s the Myrtle Avenue station, which served the B, D, N, Q lines. The station opened on June 22, 1915 and closed in 1956 for the reconstruction of the flying junction north of DeKalb Avenue to increase capacity for the entire BMT subway line.
BQX Running Through
There’s reason for all the excitement surrounding the upcoming Brooklyn Queens Connector, the proposed streetcar that would link the entire waterfront along the East River. The borough’s entire infrastructure will benefit from it. Downtown Brooklyn stands to gain a lot as well – plans currently call for the above ground streetcar to stop in the neighborhood and connect to our robust subway network.