Abandoned City Hall Subway Station in New York CityAlso known as City Hall Loop, this ghost station now stars in movies and serves as a museum.
Remember the epic battle scene in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that ended up in an underground station? An extraordinarily beautiful one, by the way. So sad the magicians had smashed it down to ruins.
Be relieved: they repaired the station by the end of the movie.
OK, be relieved once again: that's the Old City Hall Loop Station, nobody would have let the filmmakers destroy it (even temporarily). It was computer graphics.
In real, wizardless life, the City Hall was the original southern terminal station of the first NYC subway line. Opened with great pomp in 1904, it stood out sharply against the other IRT stations thanks to its remarkable architecture. An unusual curved platform, amethyst glass skylights (blackened during WWII), brass chandeliers and a Guastavino tile arched ceiling take the spectators' breath away even now, more than a century after construction.
Despite all its elegancy and architectural uniqueness, the City Hall (also called the City Hall Loop due to the form of its track) was not very much in use. By the 1940s it served only 600 passengers per day. The NYC subway stations were being renovated those days to accommodate longer trains: that was inevitable as far as ridership increased. The City Hall's curves could admit only five cars, and that was not enough. So the officials chose to close the station instead of investing loads into its would-be difficult renovation. On December 31, 1945 the street entrances were sealed and the amethyst glass skylights were covered over.
Since then, trains no longer stop at the City Hall. Nevertheless, its track is still alive and kicking. It is used as a turnaround for the 6 line.
Nowadays the station can be reached via a guided tour organized by the NYC Transit Museum. Advance payment and reservations are required. Or, instead, you can grasp a look of this underground beauty from the window of the 6 and <6> trains as you travel around the loop to head back uptown.