Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
As iconic as anything above ground, these subway platforms leave riders with an added sense of the city they serve.
From the preserved layers of history on the walls in Athens, to the sterile, somber curves in Washington, D.C, each system's platform offers unique insight into its personality. Varying from utilitarian to whimsical, we put together a sampling of platforms from the famous and not-so-famous subway systems around the world:
Top image courtesy Flickr user rkirchne.