76th Street Subway Station – Queens, New York - Atlas Obscura

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76th Street Subway Station

Out of a labyrinth of abandoned tunnels and stops, this Queens subway station is arguably the most mysterious—if it exists at all. 

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New York City’s century-old subway system has a labyrinth’s worth of abandoned tunnels and stops. But the 76th Street station in Queens is by far the most mysterious. Why? Because the 76th Street station may not exist at all.

According to the New York Times, the bricked-up stop “has been rumored to sit just east of the Euclid Avenue station, part of a grand, never-realized plan to continue the A line out to 229th Street.” Why that plan was scrapped, and if the station was ever built at all, remains a Metro mystery train aficionados have debated for decades.

In 2002, a tour guide at the New York Transit Museum posted a convincing, in-depth history claiming the station, scandalously built by non-union workers, was part of a vast city cover-up. However, keen-eyed skeptics pointed out the post was published on April Fool’s Day. 

More concrete evidence came from the Times, who interviewed a former MTA employee claiming to have worked on the station. They also cite old schematics and switchboards listing a “76th Street” stop. Some urban explorers have even ventured into the MTA’s tunnels, returning with alleged photographic evidence of an offshoot “layup track” ending abruptly at a concrete wall. Beyond that, it is believed, lies the Roswell of the rails.

The best way to see where the station is (or, rather, isn’t) is Pitkin Ave between 76th and 77th Streets. If the true believers are right, you’re standing on top of a “transit Atlantis.” A law office resides on the corner, the lone business in a residential neighborhood. Theorists say this is proof it was once a subway station, and thus given industrial zoning rights. Furthermore, the office is recessed from the street, leaving a void of paved concrete perfectly sized for the entrance to—you guessed it—a subway station. Next stop: the truth.

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