A Big (Apple) Passion Project: Illustrating New York City’s Subway Stations

To put it lightly, Philip Ashforth Coppola loves New York City's subway stations. For the past 38 years, the New Jersey-based illustrator has been exploring the Big Apple's underground stations and sketching its mosaics in amazing detail with just a ballpoint pen. In 1984, Coppola published his first volume of subway drawings, "Silver Connections." He continues to document the city's underground, but doesn't expect to finish until 2040. Keep at it Phil!

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A Treasury of Artwork in the Subway

By DAVID W. DUNLAP (The New York Times)

Philip Ashforth Coppola set out in July 1978 to document the artistic décor of the New York City subway system in words and line drawings, figuring he'd be finished in a couple of months. He's still working on it. He thinks he'll be done in 2030. Read more...

BOROUGH HALL, BROOKLYN 'First and Grandest' In Volume 2 of "Silver Connections," Mr. Coppola wrote that the architect Christopher Grant LaFarge, of Heins & LaFarge, "poured all that his talents could sum up into the mosaic décor of these name panels, just to celebrate Brooklyn's first and grandest subway station."


BOROUGH HALL, BROOKLYN
'First and Grandest'

In Volume 2 of "Silver Connections," Mr. Coppola wrote that the architect Christopher Grant LaFarge, of Heins & LaFarge, "poured all that his talents could sum up into the mosaic décor of these name panels, just to celebrate Brooklyn's first and grandest subway station."


59TH STREET-COLUMBUS CIRCLE, MANHATTAN A Second Monument to Columbus "Above the mosaic pilaster, Columbus's caravel, the Santa Maria, sails bravely on the open sea with only a few ocean birds to keep her company," Mr. Coppola wrote, noting that the plaques might be thought of as the other monument to Christopher Columbus on Columbus Circle. He also said the station décor "is as green as the sea" — appropriately enough.


59TH STREET-COLUMBUS CIRCLE, MANHATTAN
A Second Monument to Columbus

"Above the mosaic pilaster, Columbus's caravel, the Santa Maria, sails bravely on the open sea with only a few ocean birds to keep her company," Mr. Coppola wrote, noting that the plaques might be thought of as the other monument to Christopher Columbus on Columbus Circle. He also said the station décor "is as green as the sea" — appropriately enough.


One Man’s Opus to New York’s Subway Art, Decades in the Making. Click here to read more...

One Man’s Opus to New York’s Subway Art, Decades in the Making. Click here to read more...


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