Reactor

A Subway Platform Becomes a Front Porch

by Jillian Steinhauer on October 19, 2012

Ed Kopel's "Brooklyn Bucolic" at the Avenue H stop on the Q line

Ed Kopel’s “Brooklyn Bucolic” at the Avenue H stop on the Q line (all images via MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design’s Facebook page)

I’ve always enjoyed riding the subway impossible distances — out to Coney Island, say, or the Far Rockaways — largely because the cityscape and the scenery change so much along the way. Traveling out to the ends of various lines transports you away from the New York City you know.

The 1906 cottage that serves as the Avenue H subway station (photo via Landmarks Preservation Commission report)

Still, even though I’ve done it many times, I’ve somehow never noticed the Avenue H subway stop on the Q line, which is an early 20th-century shingled wooden cottage transformed into a station. The MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design recently decided to play up that history with a commission by architect Ed Kopel, who this week installed permanent rocking chairs along the platform and transformed the space into a good old-fashioned front porch.

Kopek’s project, titled “Brooklyn Bucolic,” consists of seven distinct and colorful Shaker-style rocking chairs, all of them originally carved in maple. Unfortunately the chairs are cast in bronze and anchored in place, so I don’t think they really rock, but when paired with the 1906 cottage, which has “a hipped and flared roof and wraparound porch,” they create a lovely scene of days gone by, and a good view from which to watch more days pass.

Ed Kopel, "Brooklyn Bucolic"

Ed Kopel, “Brooklyn Bucolic”

(h/t Transportation Nation)

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