264-66 West 96th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue (IRT Electrical Substation No. 14)
This Date: 1904
Architect: Hunter, Paul C.
Developer/Owner/Builder: New York City
Primary Style: Beaux-Arts
Primary Facade: Limestone
Wish List: Current Wish List
IRT Substation No. 14 is one of eight original substations that powered New York City’s early subway system. The substations conveyed electrical currents to the subway tracks and lighting and signal systems from the 59th Street Powerhouse. IRT architect Paul C. Hunter designed all of the substations with identical Beaux-Arts facades, reflecting City Beautify ideals, which sought urban improvement through architecture and public works. This particular substation was built by contractor John McDonald and William Barkley Parson served as the chief Engineer. Above a granite base course at sidewalk level is a banded limestone base, two large arched doors, sets of tripartite windows, terra-cotta details, and decorative cornice supported by large brackets, the facade of Substation No. 14 create a screen between the industrial function of the building and the residential street lined with apartment buildings and shops.