After the sun comes up on Monday morning, commuters using Lower Manhattan’s Fulton Center subway station can expect a brighter, more spacious commute.
The main entrance, at Fulton Street between Broadway and John Street, will open to riders at 5 a.m. on Monday. The center connects the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z and R lines, and will eventually extend to the World Trade Center and PATH trains. With 27 entrances, wider corridors and new pedestrian traffic flows, officials say the 300,000 daily commuters will move more quickly through the station.
The main entrance features a glass pavilion, with multiple levels and winding staircases. “Sky Reflector-Net,” by James Carpenter, allows natural light to pour in below street levels, using 81 glass diamond-shaped panels to let the light in.
The station has 52 digital screens throughout that will display advertising and emergency information, as well as 10 escalators and 15 elevators for public use. Some 66,000 square feet of kiosks, retail and office space are available, and will be leased out by Westfield. Tenants are expected in the new year.
On Sunday afternoon, the MTA hosted a closed-door ribbon cutting attended by elected officials, MTA chairs, community leaders and architects.
“Welcome to New York’s next great public space … something New York has never seen before,” said Thomas F. Prendergast, Chairman and CEO of the MTA. “The center is an important symbol for New York in so many ways.”
Apart from the visually-stunning atrium, dignitaries spoke on how Fulton Center is a symbol of downtown Manhattan’s resilience and revival after 9/11.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer called the station a “reminder to come out of the ashes but never forget.”
“Who would have thought, in those dark days after 9/11, when we were breathing poisons, and the place was covered in white dust and debris, that downtown would recover as it has … that 40,000 more people live here, that it’s a 24 hour seven day a week community,” Congressman Jerrold Nadler said.
MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu said about $1.27 billion of the $1.4 billion it cost to complete the station came from federal funds, including the largest stimulus package awarded to date. An additional $847 million came from a 9/11 appropriation from Congress, and $130 million from the MTA in local funds.
Later, while giving reporters a tour of the facility, Horodniceanu said the project finished with about $30 million left over, and the funds will return to the MTA.
When asked about the extensive delays of the center, which was originally slated to open in 2007, Horodniceanu said one delay can throw the whole project off, and projects such as Fulton Center need to account for setbacks in the planning phase.