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'Dismal' Fourth Avenue Subway Station to Get 1-Day Beautification

By Leslie Albrecht | October 29, 2014 3:59pm
 The Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street subway station has been under renovation for years.
'Dismal' Fourth Avenue Subway Station to Get Pop-up Makeover
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PARK SLOPE — Paper and canvas props and portable lights will turn the dreary Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street subway station into a vastly improved fantasy version when volunteers give the space a temporary makeover next month.

A group led by the Park Slope Civic Council's Forth on Fourth Committee will carry out the one-day installation, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 21, in a bid to restart a stalled discussion on the station's future.

The installation will also include mock-ups of street-level shops, better signage and brighter lighting.

"It's just amazing how dismal that space is," said Forth on Fourth committee co-chair S.J. Avery. "There are things that could be done in terms of lighting, storefronts and brighter colors that would make a huge difference in changing what's a dark, depressing entryway to both Gowanus and the north Slope."

Organizers hope to convince the MTA to host a public forum where locals can get information about renovations at the station and chime in with their own improvement ideas.

The MTA reopened the station's long-closed entrances in 2012, but other improvements — including adding retails spaces outside the entrance and restoring the historic arch over Fourth Avenue — have been delayed repeatedly.

The station has been draped in black netting and scaffolding for several years, but news on the upgrades has been scarce. City Councilman Brad Lander called on the MTA in August to provide an update, saying that "both progress and information from the MTA has been sparse."

An MTA spokesman told DNAinfo New York on Wednesday that the agency will give a progress report on the project "in the next couple of weeks."

On the morning of the pop-up makeover, volunteers will hand out leaflets telling straphangers to watch for changes to the space that afternoon. Then they'll spend the day decorating the station with the temporary improvements.

"We're trying to pop up an idea of how that space could look," Avery said. "It could be pleasant. You've got 13,000 people in and out of there every day and we deserve better."

The growing number of high-rise developments planned for Fourth Avenue make the need for improvements more urgent than ever, Avery added.

The Forth on Fourth Committee raised $3,300 for the installation using the crowd-funding site IOBY, and The Transit Center matched some of the donated funds.