Fulton Center

This article is about the transit center. For the original station, see Fulton Street (New York City Subway).
Fulton Center
New York City Subway rapid transit station complex

Fulton Center as seen from the northwest
Station statistics
Borough Manhattan
Coordinates 40°42′38″N 74°00′32″W / 40.710464°N 74.008917°W / 40.710464; -74.008917Coordinates: 40°42′38″N 74°00′32″W / 40.710464°N 74.008917°W / 40.710464; -74.008917
Services       2  (all times)
      3  (all except late nights)
      4  (all times)
      5  (all except late nights)
      A  (all times)
      C  (all except late nights)
      J  (all times)
      Z  (rush hours, peak direction)
      N  (late nights)
      R  (all except late nights)
      W  (weekdays only)
Other information
Opened November 10, 2014 (2014-11-10)

The Fulton Center is a transit center and retail complex centered at the intersection of Fulton Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The complex is part of a $1.4 billion project by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public agency of the state of New York, to rehabilitate the Fulton Street New York City Subway station, and construct new underground passageways and access points into the complex. The complex officially opened on November 10, 2014, along with the Dey Street Passageway.

The project is intended to improve access to and connections among the New York City Subway services stopping at the Fulton Street station and, through the Dey Street Passageway and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, provide connections to the Chambers Street – World Trade Center / Park Place, Cortlandt Street (1), and Cortlandt Street (N R W) stations, as well as the PATH World Trade Center station. Funding for the construction project, which began in 2005, dried up for several years, with no final approved plan and no schedule for completion. Plans for the transit center, however, were rejuvenated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

It used to be referred to as the Fulton Street Transit Center, but was rebranded the Fulton Center in May 2012 because of an increased focus on retail.


The Fulton Center mezzanine in the Fulton Building, pictured on opening day, November 10, 2014

The Fulton Center connects the 2 3 4 5 A C J Z N R W services via an east-west underground passageway, and features a high-visibility Transit Center with entrances on Broadway between Fulton Street and John Street.

In addition to work on the four linked Fulton Street stations, the Dey Street Passageway was built outside fare control[1] to connect to the Cortlandt Street (BMT Broadway Line) station. Originally, a passageway inside fare control was to be built to connect to the World Trade Center (IND Eighth Avenue Line) station, part of the Chambers Street – World Trade Center / Park Place station complex. However, this passageway was ultimately cancelled due to value engineering.[2]

Ove Arup and Partners served as the prime consultant of the entire project.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] The entire project cost US$1.4 billion.[12][13][14]

The major elements of the Fulton Center rehabilitation project included:

The Fulton Center is applying for LEED certification.[16]


Construction site of the Fulton Center as of March 2010. This is at the corner of Broadway and Dey Street

The project had several delays, with the completion date delayed from 2007 to 2014. There had also been several design cutbacks. The free transfer from the Cortlandt Street and World Trade Center stations was dropped from the plans, but was later restored using MTA funds and then later dropped again; the passageway underneath Dey Street has been narrowed from 40 to 29 feet (12 to 9 m).[2] Throughout the construction phases of the project, all four stations in the original complex were rehabilitated. The distinguishing switchback ramps of the original station complex at the Broadway–Nassau / Fulton Street station were gradually replaced with two new mezzanines. A total of ten stairs now connect the stations with each other at Fulton Street. To accommodate construction and ameliorate passenger flow during construction, various entrances have been closed, reopened or newly opened. Among these are the new entrances have been installed in the far eastern end of the complex, at William Street, and new entrances have been installed on Maiden Lane and Cortlandt Street on Broadway. A new underground passageway under Dey Street connecting Fulton Street with Cortlandt Street opened in November 2014; the new station building on Dey Street opened in 2012. After many delays, a centerpiece building called the Fulton Building is being built and will be connected to a restored Corbin Building.[17]

Station rehabilitations

The Fulton Center project involves three station rehabilitation projects, one with the Seventh Avenue Line's station at the eastern end of the complex (2 3 trains), the station rehabilitation at Cortlandt Street (BMT Broadway Line) and the rehabilitation of the Lexington Avenue Line's station under Broadway. Widely seen as the first completed project of the Fulton Center, the rehabilitation of the Seventh Avenue Line's station was completed by November 2006.[15]

Although not seen as a rehabilitation, the Cortlandt Street station was first closed in 2005 for the construction of the Dey Street Passageway, the underpass and the construction of the East Bathtub that supports the eastern towers of the New WTC Complex that is being rebuilt. With the conclusion of the Dey Street Passageway construction, the uptown platform was opened first, in November 25, 2009. Photos from the uptown platform then, showed a southbound platform under considerate re-construction. The southbound platform was rehabilitated and reopened on September 6, 2011 with a new underpass, to coincide with the upcoming opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The Lexington Avenue Line's station at the western end of the complex (4 5 trains) has been under rehabilitation since 2008, after the entrances at Maiden Lane (northbound) and Cortlandt Street (southbound) were opened to ameliorate passenger flow during subsequent station rehabilitation. As of August 4, 2012, work is still underway on the rehabilitation of the station. With more than 100 years of service, historical features, such as the tiling, would be preserved. It will be joined by the Fulton Building on the northbound platform, and the Dey Street Headhouse on the southbound platform when they open. A new false wall has been erected on the southbound (Brooklyn) platform, surrounding the exit that formerly led to Dey Street. The wall encloses construction activity that will eventually lead to the Dey Street Headhouse, as well as the Dey Street Passageway.[18]


The 135 William Street entrance for the Fulton Street station opened in August 2011, going to the IRT Broadway Seventh Avenue Line mezzanine.
Maiden Lane subway station entrance at Fulton Street, before renovation. Each entrance went to just one platform at the time, as pictured.

As part of the reorganization of the Fulton Street station complex, and to mitigate passenger flow congestion during the construction phases of the Fulton Center project, new entrances have opened up at various locations. To allow work to progress at various sites, various pre-existing entrances were either temporarily closed or permanently closed.

On January 22, 2007, the MTA opened a new entrance on the southeast corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway.[19] Like the John Street entrance, it serves chiefly the northbound platform of the Fulton Street station. That month, construction began on creating an analogous entrance on Cortlandt Street, just across the street from Broadway, for the southbound platform. No crossunder or crossover was constructed to link the two platforms. These entrances would allow for the temporary closure of the John Street entrance (northbound platform) and the entrance by Dey Street (southbound platform) during the rehabilitation of the 4 5 platforms and Dey Street Passageway related work.

On August 1, 2011, the entrance at 135 William Street on the eastern side of the complex opened.[20] This was completed in conjunction with the gradual opening of the A C transfer mezzanine. An elevator was originally expected to open at the 135 William Street entrance in December 2011, but opened to the public in early 2014 instead. The terra-cotta mural and an iron gate from the McAlpin Hotel, both which were originally found in the original transfer passageway, were relocated to the new 135 William Street entrance. Work is currently underway at the 150 William Street entrance, as well as at 129 Fulton Street. The 129 Fulton Street entrance will provide an elevator connecting to the J Z platform and the A C Mezzanine.

Due to ongoing construction for a dormitory building for Pace University's downtown New York campus, the entrance at the southeast corner of John Street and Broadway was closed on January 6, 2012. The closure of this entrance also expedites the rehabilitation work on the northbound platform. As a result, passengers are told to use the entrance in the Fulton Building construction site, or the entrance on Maiden Lane.

To allow for advanced A C Mezzanine work and the construction of a permanent underpass under the 4 5 tunnel under Fulton Street to take place, the subway station entrance at 222 Broadway became permanently closed on October 29, 2011. In its place, a temporary entrance opened midblock between Fulton Street and John Street, inside the main building construction site. This was followed with a major realignment of the transfer passageway between the A C and 4 5 trains.[21] Related construction work saw the temporary closure of the entrances at Fulton Street, on the northwest (by St. Paul's Chapel) and southwest corners throughout much of 2011. Both were reopened by the first half of 2012. The entrance to Dey Street (195 Broadway), on the southbound platform, was permanently closed on May 1, 2012, for Dey Street Passageway related work and rehabilitation of the southbound platform. It will be replaced by the Dey Street Headhouse, across Dey Street, when it opens in late September.[22]

At the 129 Fulton Street site and the 150 William Street site are permanent entrances that provide access to the Broad Street-bound J Z trains and the 2 3 trains, respectively. There is elevator access at the 129 Fulton Street site.[20] Other permanent entrances include the Dey Street Passageway headhouse building (opened 2012) and the Fulton Center main building, or the Fulton Building (opened 2014).

IND transfer mezzanine

Newly completed passageway in the western half of the IND mezzanine, November 2014
Artwork on the walls of the eastern section the IND transfer mezzanine at the Fulton Center, facing the A C platform.

The transfer mezzanine, also known as the IND mezzanine, has effectively replaced the former network of passageways and ramps—which loosely connected the various lines with each other—as well as made redundant several adjacent entrances. In January 2010, reconstruction of the transfer mezzanine over the Fulton Street IND platform resulted in traffic flow changes.[23] The transfer passageway leading to the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line station had previously been modified. Effectively, all transfers were made through the A C platform; construction sites on the platform, combined with the loss of transfer passageways, substantially congested the platform during the construction of the new mezzanine.

The stacked-staggered configuration of the J Z platforms splits the IND mezzanine level into two halves. The eastern half stretches from Nassau Street to William Street, from the Broad Street-bound J Z platform to the 2 3 platform. Similarly, the western half of the mezzanine stretches from Nassau Street to Broadway, from the Jamaica Center-bound J Z platform to the 4 5 platforms. Transferring passengers must use the third-basement-level IND platform to navigate between the two halves of the mezzanine, due to the BMT Nassau Street Line bisecting the mezzanine on both the first and second basement levels. Two escalators have been installed in the Eastern mezzanine, connecting it to the upper mezzanine under William Street that leads to the 135 William Street entrance and the 2 3 station.

The IND mezzanine has opened in various phases. Around August 2011, the William Street end of the Eastern mezzanine opened, coinciding with the opening of the 135 William Street entrance. In October 2011, due to a major realignment of the temporary transfer passageway between the A C and 4 5 stations, parts of the Western Mezzanine opened as well. The realignment sent passengers through the construction site of the Fulton Building, a practice that has still continued with the uptown 4 5 trains. By January 2012, the Western Mezzanine had opened to the Jamaica-bound J Z platforms. In June 2012, an underpass under the 4 5 platforms re-opened and became connected to the Western Mezzanine. It travels approximately under Fulton Street.[24] With the opening of the new passageway, the older underpass connecting to southbound 4 5 platform was simultaneously closed. As a result, the Western Mezzanine is substantially completed. A white false wall separates the work area (transit center building) from the now-public passageways is put up in the Western Mezzanine. On August 2, 2012, almost a year since the new entrance on William Street opened, the Broad Street-bound J Z platform became connected to the Eastern Mezzanine. MTA officials have regarded this as the substantial completion of the entire IND mezzanine.[25][26] However, contract work is still being undertaken in both the eastern and western halves; five new elevators linking the A C platform and the mezzanine halves, and the two escalators connecting to William Street, were put into service by December 2012.

Dey Street headhouse and passageway

The Dey Street Headhouse is located at the southwest corner of Dey Street and Broadway.
Main article: Dey Street Passageway

Temporary transfer passages opened to the 4 5 trains from the A C Mezzanine on October 29, 2011, this was done in conjunction with the closing of the entrance across the street on Fulton Street. A temporary entrance was opened in the middle of the Fulton Building worksite, on Broadway between John and Fulton Streets. A temporary transfer passage ran underneath Dey Street and led to the middle of the southbound 4 5 platform, situated near the site of the future Dey Street Headhouse and passageway. In June 2012, this passageway was again replaced, this time by a permanent passageway underneath Fulton Street that adjoins the A C Mezzanine (Western section) directly. The original temporary transfer passageway would be part of an underground concourse connecting the Fulton Center and the Dey Street Passageway. It will also serve as a crossunder for the two platforms.

Glass installation on the Dey Street Passageway headhouse has been substantially completed as of August 5, 2012. The headhouse was originally expected to open on July 31, 2012, but opened on October 8, 2012.[27] Currently, it serves as an entrance for the southbound 4 5 trains, but will eventually serve as the main access point for the long-anticipated Dey Street Passageway,[28] following interior fit-out of the passageway.[26]

There were plans for a free transfer between Cortlandt Street and World Trade Center stations, however this plan was removed due to value engineering.[2] An out-of-system connection between the two stations will be achieved via the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

Dey Street headhouse and passageway construction
Elevator for the headhouse 
Construction on the Dey Street entrance 
Inside the Dey Street entrance 
Temporary transfer passageway from southbound Lexington Avenue Line platform. This was closed from June 2012, but later reopened as the Lexington Avenue Line underpass, connecting the Dey Street Passageway with the Fulton Building 

Fulton Building

Fare control area

The main building for the Fulton Center project, referred to as the Fulton Building by the MTA in its Requests for Proposals in August 2012, is a three-story building clad in glass, with an oculus atop that draws natural light into the main building and the uptown platform of the 4 5 station. It is designed by Grimshaw and James Carpenter Design Associates. Its construction replaced four buildings along the eastern side of Broadway, which were demolished during 2007.[29]

Design and construction

The building faced having to be redesigned in May 2006 because of budgetary shortfalls.[30] On June 27, 2006, the New York Times reported that the overall project had been running $45 million over a $799 million budget, but that the project design will not be further curtailed.[31] The Times had also reported on June 2, 2006, that the overrun was due to the cost of relocating 148 business and acquiring properties along Broadway where the main building will be located.[32]

However, the costs to relocate the businesses from the Fulton Building's footprint ballooned the cost for the overall project.[33] In 2008, amid the rising costs and a steepening MTA budget deficit, the MTA planned to scrap the entire Fulton Building and replace it with either "a park or plaza." At the time, critics deemed it as a "Folly on Fulton Street", a word play on "Fulton's Folly" that was used to describe Robert Fulton's steamboat 200 years ago.[34][35][36]

February 2012 construction
Main floor of the Fulton Building in November 2014

On January 28, 2008, the MTA revised its costs and estimate of completion and indicated the project would likely not to include the domed structure which had been planned, or any substantial above-ground structure. The revised cost of the below-ground work is now $910 million and it was expected to be completed in 2010. It also announced a 30-day review of plans for the above-ground structure.[37] In March 2008, the MTA indicated that an above ground structure will be built at the site without specifying if it would remain in the form of a public transit center or be sold to a private developer and only provide an entrance to the subway lines beneath athe street.[38] In June 2008, Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey prepared a report for David Paterson, governor of the state of New York, reversing years of optimism regarding the time and resources required to complete projects related to the reconstruction of the World Trade Center including the Fulton Center.[39]

In July 2008, the Federal Transit Administration announced it would not fund the cost overruns associated with the Fulton Center.[40] However, the MTA is using 2009 federal stimulus money to help fund the project.[41]

In January 2009, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,[42][43] the MTA received $497 million in the proposed federal stimulus money which allowed the above-the-ground construction of the Fulton Building to start.[18][41][44] As part of an exhibit on the city's major public construction projects, the MTA described the status above ground: "Final details are being worked out for the above ground building. The 115-year-old Corbin Building, at the corner of Broadway and John Street, will be restored and incorporated into the transit center entrance design. The transit center will be a focal point with a vibrant design and a visible portal to downtown and the transit system below".[45]

With funding secured in 2009, MTA Capital Construction released a plan to open various stages of the Fulton Center project.[46] Much of the below-ground connections, such as the IND mezzanine, was to begin construction first. The foundations of the main transit complex was completed in August 2010.[47] Full scale superstructure work on the main building began in January 2011, and steel work concluded in October 2011. In November 2014, the Fulton Building opened to the public.[48][49][50]

Sky Reflector-Net

The "Sky Reflector-Net", as seen from the center of the Fulton Building

Sky Reflector-Net, which was commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design (the art program of the MTA), was installed in 2014 in the Fulton Center transit hub. Located at the center of the oculus, the Sky Reflector-Net uses hundreds of aluminum mirrors to provide natural sunlight from a 53 ft (16 m) skylight to an underground area as much as four stories deep.[51] This is the first intentional skylight in the New York City Subway system since the 1945 closure of the original City Hall station.[52][53]

Retail space

Billed by MTA officials as "New York's Next Greatest Public Space", the Fulton Building is designed with a strong focus on retail. Retail stores are to be featured on the concourse level (the same level as the IND Mezzanine), the platform level (the same level as the 4 5 platforms), and also on the ground floor. In addition, the MTA presentation at the stakeholders' meeting in October 2011 indicates the plausible presence for market cafes on the ground floor, "destination restaurants and bars" on the second floor and an anchor-branded tenant on the third and top floor of the building.[54] There has been a strong focus to bring retail, of up to more than 30,000 square feet to the new site, to the complex.[55]

Some have suggested this to be an impetus for the May 2012 name change from "Fulton Street Transit Center" to a simpler "Fulton Center" to attract leases. The MTA looked to private companies to manage the retail section of the Fulton Center, attempting to change it to a shopping destination,as well as a transit center. The retail spaces are intended to provide additional revenue for the MTA in the form of real estate.[56][57]

On July 31, 2012, the MTA made a motion to seek proposals from various companies for a master lease for 65,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. This space includes the Corbin Building, and the Dey Street Passageway and headhouse.[58] The MTA made a Requests for Proposals (RFP) on August 2, 2012. Proposals were by November 2, 2012. According to the MTA's RFP, the main building is called the "Fulton Building" to disambiguate from other related structures, such as the Corbin Building.[17]

Corbin Building

Corbin Building after renovation
Main article: Corbin Building

The Corbin Building is a landmark building located adjacent to the Fulton Building. Originally slated to be demolished, the building was instead restored as a part of the Fulton Center project and incorporated to the overall transit complex. It will also provide street-level retail as well as 31,000 square feet of commercial office space.

The building was underpinned during the rehabilitation of the 4 5 platforms and the transit building construction. Design elements and the historic decor and facade are being preserved as a part of this project. The building as a whole will be integrated into the project, with escalators at John Street descending to the 4 5 platforms and the Fulton Building. Retail space returned to the ground floor when the Corbin Building reopened in December 2012.[18]

For upper floors, an interstitial structure was built for the height of the building, between the original building and the Fulton Center. This interstitial structure allows the Corbin Building to be made compliant to modern building regulations. A new freight elevator, as well as two passenger elevators, were installed in the interstitial building. Additionally, the interstitial unit gives added support to the Corbin Building.[59] While it provides added support for the Corbin Building, the interstitial building is considered to be a part of the Fulton Building.[17]

Constituent stations

The Fulton Center project initially included upgrades to five subway stations:[60]

The World Trade Center PATH station, as well as the following two New York City Subway stations, will be connected to the complex via the World Trade Center Transportation Hub:[60]

Despite the presence of a passageway linking the Fulton Street complex and the Cortlandt Street BMT station, there is no free connection between the two stations. There was a plan to implement a now-canceled free transfer to connect the Cortlandt Street platforms to the Chambers Street – World Trade Center A C E station; there will still be paid transfers to the Fulton Street complex and the two Cortlandt Street stations when the WTC Transportation Hub is opened.[2] The connection will still be possible via an out-of-system transfer through the WTC Transportation Hub when it is completed. According to the MTA's Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Dey Street Passageway is intended to provide a seamless connection from the Fulton Center to the WTC Transportation Hub and Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) without the need to cross Church Street and Broadway, both of which are busy traffic arteries in Lower Manhattan. By keeping it outside of the paid area, it would maximize pedestrian flow.[1]

See also

Related structures:

Related projects:


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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fulton Center.
External video
"What is the Fulton St Transit Center?", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; September 2, 2010; one minute YouTube video clip
"Fulton St Transit Center – 6-16-2011 Update", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; June 16, 2011; 2:43 YouTube video clip
"Fulton St Transit Center - 1/19/2012 Update", Metropolitan Transportation Authority; January 19, 2012; 1:45 YouTube video clip
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