A Painstakingly Illustrated Catalog of Manhattan’s Subway Tile Mosaics

Travel through 118 stations without leaving your room.

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Adam Chang

In the chaos of navigating New York City's busy subway system, few of its millions of daily passengers have the opportunity to appreciate what each station actually looks like. 

Thanks to freelance art director Adam Chang’s obsessively compiled NY Train Project, now you can.

screenshot via NY Train Project

Last summer, Chang spent about 20 hours riding and waiting for trains. He made a stop at each of the 118 stations in Manhattan and photographed its tiled signage. Chang then went home and spent the last year carefully illustrating each mosaic digitally.

The result is a comprehensive visual tour of the various train lines, where you can soak in the distinct mosaic design at each stop. 

Denizens of the outer boroughs — don’t fret! Chang has plans to give all the stations in the city the same treatment. 

In an email, Chang writes that his favorites of the bunch  — including the Bleecker St. station on the 6 train and the Canal St. station on the N/Q/R trains — were also the most difficult to create.

Here’s a selection of them, along with the “fun facts” Chang included with each sign he reproduced.

6 train: Broadway/Bleecker — The Bleecker Street plaques are created from faience ceramic.
6 train: 28th St. — In 2005, this station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
1 train: 86 St. — This station opened October 27, 1904. 
1 train: 96 St. — When this station first opened, it was possible to open both sides of the train at once. 
N/Q/R trains: Canal St. — This station opened September 4, 1917. 
A/B/C trains: 81 St.-Museum of Natural History — This station has an entrance directly to the American Museum of Natural History. 
1 train: 137th St. — This station is often seen in the TV Drama, New Amsterdam. 
1 train: Christopher St. - Sheridan Square — This station can be seen in the backdrop of David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" music video. 
A/C/E trains: 34th St.-Pennsylvania Station — This is the busiest railroad station in the U.S.
2/3 trains: 135th St. — This station had a center track but it was terminated in 1995. 

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