‘The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street’ to be revealed in Downtown Brooklyn
New Exhibition at New York Transit Museum Opens Oct. 28
For more than 50 years, the 13-story white limestone building at 370 Jay St. housed the headquarters of New York’s evolving transit agencies: first the Board of Transportation, then the Transit Authority, and finally New York City Transit. As the home for staff and operations of those agencies, its 420 perfectly uniform windows hid a secret elevator used to move cash from fare collection trains to the Money Room on the second floor, the famed Subway Command Center, sleek sunlit offices for employees from the chairman to the mail clerks — even a Lost and Found Department full of abandoned umbrellas.
The New York Transit Museum’s upcoming exhibition “The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street,” which opens to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 28, examines the building’s form and function as well as its exciting future. Built as part of the Brooklyn Civic Center Urban Renewal project following World War II, 370 Jay St. is now again at the center of change. In 2012 the City of New York and New York University entered into an agreement to transform 370 Jay St. into a modern, sustainable academic center that will be the foundation of the University’s expanding engineering and applied sciences programs, including their Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).
“The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street” will reveal the inner workings and the quirky history of one of New York’s first mid-century modern office buildings. Photographs, architectural drawings, maps, models and ornamental details removed from the building will highlight the aesthetic form and diverse functions of the building as it transitions into its new life.