This view exemplify's the dichotomy of preservation because it's both appalling and fantastic. (And a mystery as well.)
This is the out-of-service exit platform located on the east side of New York City's J&M lines Chambers Street Station. It's appalling for it is in the very basement of New York City's government, the beautiful recently renovated 40 story 1914 Manhattan Municipal Building designed by McKim, Mead & White. You access the station by entering a beautiful portico with a genuine Guastavino tile ceiling down stairs surrounded by a brass railed balustrade with equally beautiful roman lettering proudly proclaiming "SVBWAY." However, when you arrive on the platform, not a thousand feet from the nearby City Hall and the Mayor's own office, you look from the in-service platform at this depressing decay. I mean, what kind of face is this for New York to project? Any new visitor or hapless New York native who happens upon this is going to think, "This is the greatest city in the United States? This should be repaired or sealed off or something!"
This view is fantastic. That would be because historians and preservationists are thrilled to find this kind of stasis. Consider this: The station was opened in 1911 yet a mere twenty years later in 1931 the need for the station had diminished so much this platform, meant only for exiting passengers, was deemed superfluous. So it saw it's last passenger before most living memory. My 85 year old mother in law is the oldest person I know and even she would have only been a year old at the time of the closure.
I want you to look at this and find the mystery. Look and think. A wall in a large city, one that has been abandoned for years and years. What should have happened to this wall? You think, "Holy Cow! Where's the graffiti? It should be covered with it!" But instead, there is not a lick of spray paint visible anywhere. It is a true mystery that this place was spared such an assault. It is fantastic we see can the beautiful i(f inaccurate) bas-relief Brooklyn Bridge panels by the artists Heins & LaFarge and the surrounding tile work as was put in place 104 years ago.
I wager most of Railpictures.net membership would like a time machine and therefore I present you this view as a time capsule. For 84 years this space has not been touched and aside from it's degeneration you are seeing it as our ancestors saw it.