Business Insider editorial intern
Hollis Johnson recently travelled all the way to the West end of the 7 — the equivalent of the City's West Coast — to check out the new subway station at hudson yards.
I hopped on the train at Times Square — 42nd Street. After navigating the labyrinth of platforms in the enormous Times Square station, I finally found the 7.
Well, it's official: It's on the map! The mile-long extension seems much smaller on the simplified system map.
The trains are the same, but looking out the windows, I can tell that it's a brand new tunnel. There's no soot to cover the concrete just yet.
After about four minutes, I'm there. The platform itself is pretty boring, so I go up to the lower mezzanine. Everything is very clean and light gray — it feels like a sci-fi movie set. It stretches the length of three city blocks.
The architecture is decidedly modern, and there are no straight walls, just cavernous tubes. Unlike most subway stations, the temperature is comfortable. Reasonable temperatures in a subway station are far from an everyday occurrence.
Only when I get to the escalators do I realize just how deep the station is. At 125 feet from platform to street, it's the third deepest in the subway system. That's over 10 stories — deep enough for two train tunnels to pass over it.
After a minute-and-a-half escalator ride (yes, that long), I reach the upper mezzanine where the turnstiles are located. Above the turnstiles is a gorgeous bright blue mosaic by artist Xenobia Bailey.
Up another, thankfully shorter, bank of escalators and I reach the street. There are two entrances, but only the one between 33rd and 34th Street is completed. The other will open this December.
It doesn't seem very busy, but once the Hudson Yards development is complete, this will be an extremely bustling station. The master plan calls for 16 skyscrapers to be completed by 2024.
Both entrances are surrounded by Hudson Yards Park, which has winding walkways and freeform gardens.
The park offers tables and amphitheater benches in front of three modern fountains and a gorgeous view of towers to the north.
The 33rd Street entrance is in the shadow of 10 Hudson Yards, the first skyscraper of the development plan. The tower will hold the new headquarters of Coach Inc. and is on track to open in late 2015.
Back down I go, admiring another beautiful mosaic.
The vibrant blue designs are hypnotic.
And down, down, down some more. Staring down such a long escalator is a little unnerving; I definitely gripped the side more than I needed to.
Overall, the station is incredibly impressive — even more impressive when you consider that it opened close to budget. And while the design is a little sterile, it's the perfect station for the modern neighborhood that will grow up around it.