The BMT station at 34th Street-Herald Square opened January 5, 1918. It was the third rapid transit to open at the Square. The first was the Sixth Avenue el station at 33 Street that opened above in the 1870s. Underground the subway station joined the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad's (now PATH) normal terminus at 33rd Street just south of the subway station (and provisions were most likely made to accommodate a never built extension of the H&M Railroad to Grand Central) that opened in 1910. The underground 6th Avenue subway opening in 1940 replaced the Sixth Avenue el that closed in 1938. The Broadway Line station has two island platforms for the four track line. The platforms have a line of orange columns and the track walls have a restored BMT dual-contracts trim line of gold with orange borders, and 34s in white on a blue background. It is interrupted by frequent visible steel beams. Beneath the trim line are off grey walls with a single black tile in the center with a small 34 on it.
There are two exits from the platform, both of which connect to the B,D,F,M IND 6th Avenue Line Station. The main exit leads up to a large and combined mezzanine where the B,D,F, and M are quite close to the N,Q and R making the station one of the easiest transfers in the subway system. Two staircases at about the third car from the northern end of trains and one at the very northern end of the platform (leading to the north wall of the platform) plus the platform elevators in this locations. The BMT mezzanine flows nearly seamlessly into the IND portion of the mezzanine (with exits to both 34th and 35th Streets) with no real indicators of the transition although some BMT mosaics have been restored with Downtown and Uptown in the trimline in the BMT portion of the station.
There is one exit from the BMT portion of the mezzanine and its (I assume) the station's busiest and includes the station's main 24 hour booth fare control area, opposite the transfers to the IND. It has two streetstairs with silver railings, labeled Subway — PATH up to the NW and SW corners of Broadway and 34th Street. It is also the exit for accessibility. A passageway connects south of the turnstiles. There are gates to close off this passageway to PATH. Immediately before the gates (so it isn't closed off) is the subway street elevator. (The PATH elevator also leads step-free to the subway, its one block south and requires going a block south underground to reach). This elevator (proposed in 1979) leads up and is within the building 1293-1311 Broadway with the upper landing directly on the west side of Broadway before it intersects 6th Avenue between 34th and 33rd Streets. The passageway to PATH continues, passing black plywood boarded up closed doors beneath signs for the Herald Center at Herald Square that must have once led into the basement building where the elevator is. Eventually passengers cross under signs that say ' Thank You for Riding NYC Transit' and the columns switch from silver circulars to blue I-beams and the PATH mezzanine.
These platforms have a southern exit accessed via a single staircase at the very southern end of the platforms. It leads up to a small mezzanine area with turnstiles (both low and high, and for many years just part time), a walkway within fare control leads downstairs and around the PATH entrance area and down to the IND's southern entrance that is nestled beneath the PATH entrance and above the super-deep IND platforms. Turnstiles lead out to a passageway that goes up a few steps (with a PATH branded streetstair at the NE corner of 32 Street and 6th Avenue along Greeley Square) and then back down to the PATH station entrance, going via the PATH Station passengers can walk outside of fare control all the way from here to the main 34 Street and Broadway entrance. This small mezzanine area has two of its own entrances. One is up to the NW corner of 32 Street and Broadway. This streetstair is a normal subway entrance painted black (and only normal looking entrance in the complex). Another exit leads up to the NE corner of 32 Street and Broadway. This streetstair has the silver railings that are standard in the station with Subway — PATH written in the side of the staircase. Along the wall of the street stair are a number of red text on white signs for 'Barbershop — We Buy Gold & Diamonds,' 'Shoe Repair, Watch Repair, Shoe Shine — We Buy Gold & Diamonds'. These signs advertise the tiny shopping arcade (of maybe two stores) passengers pass by before going through a passageway and down some more steps to the subway mezzanine.
Old Station Banner