Roadgeek Adam wrote:
What was the idea behind these terra cotta tiles at this station and Hoyt Avenue? I actually like these. Were they a short term test of new tiles or for a time the common way to do this?
Those tiles are probably not considered terra cotta but rather plain glazed tiles with painted letters.
During the mid 1960's into the early 1990's - someone at the MTA had the idea that the subway should be modern looking and any station renovation resulted in those types of glazed tiles being placed over the original tiles of the station. As result Hoyt St on the IRT (2 & 3) and 53rd St/Lexington Av (E ) and also 137th St on the 1 were given the tile treatment they still have today. Additionally all the stations on the BMT stations that had side platforms were given the "refrigerator tile" treatment (except 49th St which got red/orange tiles). Bowling Green (4 & 5) was given a new side platform and a red/orange tile covering. The Wall Street station (4 & 5) was given a blue tile covering.
It was during this time that many stations were placed on the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission's list which landmarked the original interior look of the station which lead to ---- In the mid 1990s and continuing to this day, the idea is now to use new tiles but keeping the appearance of the original station tile work. This was first done at the Canal Street station renovations on the #6 and on the BMT (N, Q, R) stations as well (the refrigerator tiles were removed and tiles more like the originals were used. Later the stations on the BMT Broadway line (N, Q, R) were all redone. The refrigerator tiles were pulled down and white tiles were used plus the addition of artwork tiles, while not part of the original station, were installed. These do compliment the original "flavor" of the original station appearance.
Also the blue tiles on the Wall Street station were removed and new white tiles were then used to give the station an appearance similar to when it opened in 1905.