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See the spiked ironwork on this subway railing? See the art deco pattern on the cast iron? That stuff is very very old. The IRT line which became lines 1, 2, 3 and 9, was built around 1903. The cast iron work looks as good today as it had back then. The stations themselves fell into disrepair. NYC subway companies could not raise fare and thus follow supply and demand and were bought by the state. The hammer and sicle is a final insult to capitalism in this case.

Construction of the 23 street station :

Interborough Rapid Transit ; the New York Subway , It’s Construction and Equipment was a book published by the IRT in 1904. Only 200 copies were printed, for gifts to bigwigs. Abebooks.com has the cheapest copy at $150. Luckily it was also reprinted in 1970es. There is also an online version for you cheapscates.