The MTA’s $94.5 million rehabilitation of the Bleecker Street Station complex, designed by Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects (LHPA) in a joint venture with Weidlinger Associates, structural engineers, introduces an uptown link between two major subway lines while returning one of the city’s oldest stations to its original glory.
It includes a 300 ft. extension of the Bleecker Street IRT uptown platform and a new transfer connection between it and the Broadway-Lafayette station on the IND line.
It also restores the landmarked IRT station’s 1904 Beaux-Arts finishes, which were designed by the architecture firm Heins & LaFarge; widens the downtown platform by 240 feet; introduces ADA access and efficient movement; and consolidates NYCT facilities.
Creating the dramatic uptown link between the stations — there was already a link on the downtown side — required widening the tunnel and then introducing structural supports to extend the uptown IRT platform so that it could connect it with the formerly unused but now reopened IND East Mezzanine.
The IRT station runs north-south one level — 20 feet — below the street and the IND line runs east-west two more levels below that.
“There are many structural differences between the two stations,” said Bernard Kho of LHPA, “with several structural grids of steel to penetrate. We aimed carefully and made a three-level cut through the floor slabs to introduce an escalator and stairs which connect the two stations as well as two elevators which provide ADA access from the street.”
Adding drama and light to the contemporary connection is a digital art installation that hangs from the ceiling. Designed by artist Leo Villareal as part of NYC’s Percent for Art program, it is ahoneycomb structure of LED lights with pulsating color that changes throughout the day.