new-york

“Culture Stations”

The Urban Center

Paris’ Metro has always been prominent among subway systems, and when the City of Paris began its renovation program, the role of “supreme station” was rapidly conferred on the Louvre stop. I’ve always found its look over Frenchified, what with the slick beiges, dramatic lighting and the photos and vitrines tastefully advertising the museum’s wares, but American public officials are confirmed in their admiration. In Spring 1981 the Urban Mass Transportation Agency awarded a $128,000 federal planning grant to New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the purpose of developing conceptual designs for cultural-identity symbols in subway stations. “Culture Stations,” an exhibition cosponsored by the Municipal Art Society and the MTA, records the proceedings of that research.

The show displays the projects arrived at by four design teams for four different subway stops—those at

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