Ahead of the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the first subway trains began to stop and deliver passengers in and out of the newly opened Cortlandt Street subway stop on the 1 train, which was closed for nearly two decades from the collapse of the Twin Towers. Today, with a long, bright and expansive platform, the entrance from the Oculus can be found on the western side of its second floor while coming down from the Greenwich Street doors, or from the street, thanks to a series of double stairways and an ADA-accessible elevator next to the Memorial and future Performing Arts Center.
Looking at the station with closer eyes, people enter through and under an elongated archway that is actually part of the ribbed ceiling design of Santiago Calatrava’s PATH station directly below. On both sides, there are textured white marble walls that are inscribed with words from the Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948. The walls, which also include a mosaic mural, were created by the artist Ann Hamilton and are titled Chorus.
The Cortlandt Street subway project took about three years to complete and costs a total of nearly $158 million. The original estimate was $69 million. Part of the delay and reason for ballooning cost of construction and opening was due to the complicated timeline for the completion of the Oculus and the underground PATH station that sit directly below and next to the subway line, slicing through the 16-acre site under Greenwich Street.
Nevertheless, the opening of this critical subway stop brings even more logistical convenience to getting around Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center while underground, adding on to the list of almost a dozen subway lines crisscrossing below the Financial District that include the A, C, E, J , M, R, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 and PATH Trains.