53rd Street Station Modernization

The Enhanced Station Initiative, or ESI, is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $72 million modernization project to improve more than 30 subway stations throughout New York. Arup and Grimshaw produced the original guidelines for the modernization program and the Designer of Record for the first three stations is Urbahn-HAKS JV, which has applied Grimshaw’s design principles to develop standard elements for use across the system.

Three Brooklyn Stations on the R line are the first to have been transformed and of these, the 53rd Street Station reopened on 8 September. Citnalta-Forte JV is the design-build contractor responsible for delivering the Brooklyn stations and Billings Jackson is sub-contracted to provide industrial design services.

Billings Jackson has been responsible for the detailed design of elements and components including canopies, information panels, benches and waste bins ready for manufacture and fabrication. Priority has been given to robust, low-maintenance solutions that can accommodate future technology upgrades, which is typical of Billings Jackson’s approach.

Refurbished stations will have Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity and charging systems, intuitive wayfinding, real-time information, LED lighting and new finishes and furniture.

photos ©Marc A Hermann/MTA New York City Transit