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New exhibit examines the historical impact of the 7 train on Queens

Queens Blvd and 33rd Street

July 25, 2017 By Jason Cohen

A new exhibit that examines the impact of the 7 train on the borough of Queens opens next week at the New York Transit Museum Grand Central Gallery Annex and Store.

The exhibit, titled 7 Train: Minutes to Midtown, looks at the 100-year history of the borough’s first subway line– from its beginnings at the Steinway Tunnel to the most recent station, 34th Street – Hudson Yards.

The exhibit will be on display from Aug. 3 through Oct. 29. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Artifacts on display include current and original images of the 7 Train, a New York and Long Island City ferry ticket from the late 1800s, station wayfinding signs dating from between 1928 and 1949 and a Queensboro Bridge Railway token from 1945.

The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Flushing line, now known as the 7 Train, sparked a real estate boom nearly 100 years ago that transformed rural Queens into vibrant neighborhoods with diverse communities, according to a press release put out by the museum.

Queens Blvd and 33rd Street 2016

More than a century later, the line’s extension to the far west side of Manhattan is spurring change once again with skyscrapers surrounding the new Hudson Yards station complex.

The Flushing Line was designed to encourage growth and allow the city to expand eastward, creating more affordable housing and easing overcrowding in lower Manhattan, according to the museum. The 7 train promised a short trip to Manhattan and quickly prompted a migration to Queens. Between 1910 and 1930, the population of Queens increased by nearly 300 percent, from 284,000 to 1,079,000, according to the museum.

The ‘7 Train: Minutes to Midtown’ exhibit is the second in a three-part series that explores how transportation has influenced the development of New York City. In 2016, the Transit Museum presented Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island, and later this fall will open From Fulton Ferry: Building Downtown Brooklyn, at the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn.

“We are incredibly proud to share this story of Queens and how it was transformed from bucolic farmland to the world’s cafeteria in the span of a century,” said Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga. “At its inception, the New York City subway was a means to decongest lower Manhattan and draw the population of the city northward. The story of Queens, and by extension the 7 train, was and continues to be, one of vision; whether a hundred years ago with the Steinway Tunnel, or right now with Hudson Yards, the 7 train established communities, a neighborhood and an entire borough, by providing people with access to transportation.”

The New York Transit Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world.

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18 Comments

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC tried to copy what I had previously written in his July 27, 4:10 pm post as me. I did not say My comments will never be as bad as brooklynmc he did, My post was July 26, 7:03 pm.

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MRLIC

The REAL MRLIC again. I should have siad I agree mostly with NOTTHEFAKEMRLIC. Everyone should stop being so sensitive about me being a racist. My comments will never be as bad as brooklynmc.

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MRLIC

The REAL MRLIC again. I should have siad I agree mostly with NOTTHEFAKEMRLIC. SOme of the post I don’t agree with. Sickofunreasonableoutrage’s post I mostly agree with. Media turns people into idiots. There is a lot of FAKE NEWS out there.

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MRLIC

The REAL MRLIC again. While I did not write the NotthefakeMRLIC’s post. I do agree with it . No Racist intentions were meant and people and way too sensitive about many issues including race nowadays. Lighten up people…..

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brooklynmc

I have gone from disliking you, to liking you. You handle the troll very well. It is a sign of your character.

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MRLIC

NothefakeMRLIC andthe MRLIC post on July 25 @7″46 pm are not the REAL MRLIC. I am the REAl MRLIC who made the first post July 25 @ 7:02 pm. I AM NOT A RACIST .It was NOT meant to be racist. It is just a comment on better living conditions and a sense of community that we don’t have now.

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GreggC

I’m proud to live in a community (Jackson Heights) that is so diverse and interesting. I would miss it (the diversion) if it ever went away. I have lived in the same apartment for over 45 years.

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Gregg C Ya Later

Go post on JH Post comment section then, this comment section is strictly for LIC luxury condo owners.

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Curlicue58

I can’t wait to see this exhibit. So much history to the neighborhood I’ve called my home for the last 10 years!

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC is at it again, I did not make the post above. As usual, these photos of development of any kind taking place in LIC horrify me. My grandad, PAPPYLIC protested building the HIPSTER tailor shop in that photo by making comments on the old LIC Post, which, at the time, was just an actual post that you stapled comments on.

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MRLIC

I would rather see Sunnyside & LIC with less people and hardly and tall buildings than huge Towers of Greed and excess as it is now. The older pictures were from a better time and better people.

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NOTTHEFAKEMRLIC

lol “better people” aka “white”. The 7 Line is one of the most diverse and culturally important subway lines and it’s evolution to what it has become is nothing short of a miracle. You had me at everything ( i agree with the buildings/lack of greed and excess part) but better times and better people? Not too sure about that.

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Sick Of Unreasonable Outrage

Good lord, not everything is a racial or cultural knock!

Facts: The crime rates were WAYYY lower 100 years ago then they were today, even relative to population. Upward mobility was more easily attainable, and the family structure was more intact. People had more in common and there was less general polarity.

From it’s earliest days, NYC was incredibly and uniquely diverse, so your argument holds no water. It’s not racist to say that lower crime and happier people are better than higher crime and more frustrated people…

Perhaps it makes sense to not be looking to draw your own sensitivity. Turn the outrage machine down to a reasonable level.

Reply
brooklynmc

Unfortunately, that America is gone forever. We have dumb, petty, greedy leaders.

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