190 Street is a deep underground Station in Washington Heights who's name is deceptive since the entrances are a block north of 190 Street. The station has two side platforms, each with a separate, lower (unlike the giant vaulted ceiling tunnel at 181 Street) arched roof that leads down to a row of white arches between the two tracks. On the platforms themselves there are no columns except at the single, central fare control area. Like at 181st Street, one stop south, the platform walls have white painted arches that separate tall and narrow areas of white tiled walls. These walls form a pattern and every third arch is a mini name tablet says 190 in white mosaic tile with a purple background and black boarder (your standard IND name tablet). The other two arches have small black 190 tiles above narrow, vertical advertising panels. There are two name tablets, one on each platform that say the station's full name of 190 Street-Overlook Terrace (Overlook Terrace is even farther away from the station, its what 190th Street curves into to lead down the hill the station is built into) with the same purple background. These are beneath the station's exit.
Just north of the middle of the platform is the station's one exit, it is extremely unique. Two staircases lead up from each platform to a small mezzanine with fare control just above the platforms. The Downtown platform staircases includes white text on purple 'Downtown' mosaics On the uptown platform there is an additional single high exit only turnstile on the platform that leads to a ramp directly up to the tunnel exit. This warrants a mosaic for Uptown, although there is no way to enter the platform there. (It's two staircases from fare control don't have signs because there is no wall for them just a fence since there along the elevator landing). There are turnstiles and the token booth. Two exit's lead to separate levels of this area at the northern end of Washington Heights because of the high hill the station is beneath.
The narrow 12 food wide tunnel exit slowly slopes downward (meaning you have to walk uphill to reach the subway, downhill to leave the subway). The tunnel has an arched roof and is full of peeling paint but brightly lit (unlike the tunnel entrance to 191 Street on the IRT 1 train, a block away). This ends at three streps down (again the tunnel goes down from the station to the exit, your walking up hill to reach the subway) to a wider entrance landing with a flat roof. This exit landing has two sets (6 total) of green doors that open out to the street beyond. The exit doors are in the bott of a stone arch, the top-half painted white at the base of cliffs covered in trees, steep enough for bare rock outcroppings at the southern end of Fort Tryon Park (that includes the Cloisters Museum). This exit is one of the most picturesque in the subway system. It's street location is on the west side of Bennet Avenue between 192nd Street and where Bennet Avenue curves eastward to reach Broadway at a five-way intersection with Hillside Avenue and Nagle Avenue.
Like 181 Street (and 191 Street on the 1 train, who's own tunnel entrance is just a block away from this station's tunnel entrance) there are also elevators that lead up to the top of the hill and Fort Washington Avenue that the station is beneath (Neighborhood residents use this subway station to get from one level of the neighborhood to another and it remained open during the transit strike in 2005 and opened before the rest of the A train did after Superstorm Sandy). There are three elevators, with the lower landing directly across from the staircases to the uptown platform. You can see from the little windows in the elevator doors if your train is arriving and know if you should run as soon as the doors open. These elevators (large and with vertical panels that house Arts for Transit Posters) have sets of doors on two sides, their west (subway level) and east (street level) ends, so passengers walk through the elevators to get on and off (this also makes unloading and loading much more efficient since the first person on is the first off by walking through the elevator). The elevators lead up to an upper landing on the lower floor of a stone building mainly used for ventilation along the southern edge of Margaret Corbin Circle at the southern end of Fort Tryon Park. The stonework of this ventilation building is interesting with still original 1930s black ventilation gates that are visible from the sidewalk. Ivy grows on other walls of the building. The elevators arrive at a wide landing with brick walls and central brick pillars includes the green boarded remains of a what was a newsstand or change/token booth. Passengers must turn to the south side of the building where a single set of green doors lead to a secondary entrance porch (with a nicely tiled floor) and passengers see a sign for the Cloisters Museum in Fort Tryon Park before passing down another step and outside, although we are still below Fort Washington Avenue. Here a gate leads to some Volleyball Courts and picnic tables at the southern end of Fort Tryon Park. To reach the street, a staircase leads up to the south side of Fort Washington Avenue. Along this staircase are tall green fences and a small black box where the words Elevator Rising can be made out. I assume this was once an indicator light to passengers who wanted to spend as little time as possible waiting in the upper landing. On Fort Washington Avenue to indicate this exposed staircase leads down to a subway station is an extremely unique green 1930s original green illuminated post that says subway on top of it with a more modern green entrance globe along the sidewalk at the edge of the street.