Clark Street Subway Station May Close For One Year

Mary Frost of the Eagle reports that rumors, based on conversations between merchants with businesses in the arcade adjoining the entrance to the Clark Street subway station and MTA employees, are that the station may be closed for a full year while repairs are made to all three of the station’s frequently malfunctioning elevators. The elevators are the only practicable means of connecting street level to the platforms, as they lie ten stories below the surface. The merchants are understandably alarmed, as they depend on foot traffic to the subway from the Clark and Henry Street entrances for most, if not all, of their business. The Eagle has contacted the MTA, and has been told that it “would be issuing a statement within a couple of weeks on the project.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Jim Henderson.

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  • Heightsguy67

    Why can’t they work on one elevator at a time?

  • Jorale-man

    That would be the logical thing to do. The whole station needs an overhaul (and deep cleaning) but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that front.

  • Banet

    I suspect that working on one elevator at a time could lead to some serious overcrowding. As it is when one elevator goes out of service it gets kind of hairy with two. If they take one out of service for repairs and then another elevator breaks down, there’s going to be major congestion trying to get in and out of the station. You’re describing the situation going on for three years. Even with two elevators working there will be daily backups.

    Also, backups will lead to people stuffing into the elevator. The added weight might exacerbate the breakdown problems. It’s bad enough thinking of being stuck in one of those elevators — imagine it happening when it’s truly standing room only.

    Since there’s another station not too far away, this may be the rare time the MTA is making the right call. Maybe they can waive rent during the shutdown?

  • Arch Stanton

    Probably because they need to replace the entire elevator structure not just overhaul it. That would be very difficult if not impossible to do one while having the others running, as they may share components etc. There may be other factors such as lead or asbestos abatements, requiring the entire area to be sealed off.

  • Claude Scales

    As I understand it, the merchants in the arcade don’t pay rent to the MTA, they pay it to the owner of the St. George.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Agree. Deeply inconvenient but very necessary.

  • Clara West

    This is not the first time this has happened. 10 years ago maybe more. They closed down the entire station. It was for months and not a year. MTA provided buses parked on Henry which shuttled riders to Boro Hall.

  • Claude Scales

    I remember that.

  • Andrew Porter

    There’s a skylight directly above the booth, which was sealed off during World War 2 and never reopened. It’s underneath all those grungy metal slats that obscure the ceiling.

  • Andrew Porter

    Just so people can understand the relationship of the arcade, elevators and subway underneath, here’s a diagram of it all:

  • Arch Stanton

    Correct, it is at the bottom of the airy-way between the buildings. It suffered some damage back in the 80’s when a jumper fell through it and landed on the token booth. Suicides were common there, back in the day when the George was a SRO hotel.

  • petercow

    Drawing shows the beautiful church that used to be on the corner. (now the diner).

  • Andrew Porter