The completion of the work that transformed the dreary-looking southern terminal of the A Line into a sparkling, steel and glass, state-of-the art transit facility was marked today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by MTA leaders and local elected officials.
The project began in 2009 at the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station and included the rehabilitation of the existing control building complete with a relocated agent booth, new fare array, new employee areas and a rebuilt staircase to the platform. Situated within an impressive domed enclosure, two new ADA-compliant elevators were installed, linking the control building to the platform.
“The Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue terminal has been upgraded, modernized and transformed into an aesthetically-pleasing facility that is now a fitting gateway to the services offered by the MTA,” said MTA NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. “We are also extremely proud to have been able to add an impressive art installation and the functional elements that now allow the disabled community to take advantage of the subway system.”
Major rehabilitation work was performed on several station elements including the control house facade and interior. The project also included upgrades to the train platform, including the renewal of the ADA boarding area and yellow, textured platform edge warning strip. The platform canopy roof membrane was replaced and the canopy deck framing and support columns were freshly painted. In addition, glass artwork was installed in the control building in conjunction with the MTA’s Arts for Transit program.
“This long-awaited restoration of the Mott Avenue train station provides Rockaway families with a more beautiful and accessible station in our neighborhood,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “The addition of new elevators will make traveling easier for people with disabilities and the installation of new stained-glass windows brings beauty to the station, and is a welcomed improvement to our community. This is a great first step towards the revitalization of this area.”
The keystone of a major line renewal effort, Mott Avenue was part of a $117 million project to rehabilitate nine A Line stations serving the peninsula. Work on the other eight stations is scheduled to be complete by the Fall of this year.
The Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station was opened for customer service on January 16, 1958, about two years after subway service was extended to the Rockaways along the former tracks of the Long Island Rail Road. The Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station is more than 32 miles from the northernmost station on the line, 207th Street – Inwood, making the A Line the longest in the New York City subway system.
The MTA Arts for Transit installation, titled Respite, is an abstract landscape of birds perched on outstretched branches. The birds’ colors blend into the branches, symbolizing the connection between people and their community. The series of luminous glass panels features three distinct color themes (green for dawn, blue for midday and orange for dusk) and relate to the strong links between nature and light in this seaside community.
Designed by artist Jason Rohlf, the new glass artwork at the Mott Avenue terminal building brings brightness, color, and stature to the building, which received a new interior and easier access. The opportunity to create art throughout the terminal head house provided the artist with a large canvas to realize his vision, and the strong light that surrounds the terminal made glass the medium of choice.
“As an artist, this project was a fantastic opportunity to really impact the architecture and create work that serves to connect the viewers with the surrounding landscape,” said Rohlf, when asked about the project. “The colors in the glass reflect into shadows that splash throughout the station, providing a welcome and vibrant addition to the rider’s experience.”