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Since the September 11, 2001 attacks Cortlandt Street until 2011 spent more time closed than open. The stop was first extensively damaged in the attacks and although N/R service resumed through the station on October 28, 2001 it took until September 15, 2002 for the stop to reopen. On August 20, 2005 the station was fully closed again because the Dey Street Passageway for the Fulton Street Transit Center had to be excavated. This project was supposed to last for only a few years but further construction at the World Trade Center Site delayed the station. It took until November 25, 2009 for the uptown side to reopen but the downtown side remained closed since it was on the edge of the bathtub of the World Trade Center site slowly getting rebuilt. On September 6, 2011, after one train entered service at the station to pick up the dignitaries from a closed to the public ceremony in the Dey Street Underpass (including a ribbon cutting at the top of that staircase) at 4:03pm the first train arrived, an hour early, the signage said it would open at 5pm. When the station reopened all access was to the Uptown platform and this gradually changed with the opening of the Dey Street passageway to the Fulton Center in 2014, and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub-Oculus in 2016 through 2017.

The station's present condition is two open side platforms for the two-track line located just beneath the surface. The station has its restored tiling consisting of Cortlandt St name tablets on a red background, located directly set into the trimline of gold with a dark blue secondary border and a lighter blue background. There is also little Cs in it at regular intervals. Starting at the northern end of the platforms, at the northern end of the Downtown Platform is a narrow, relatively short passageway with simple white tiled walls that provide a new connection from the R\W platform to the World Trade Center E platform, arriving just before the E train’s bumper blocked. It is signed just for the E train although free transfers can also be made using a series of staircases to also the A,C, 2 and 3 trains. The out of system transfer via the Dey Street passageway is definitely shorter to the A and C trains and a similar distance to the 2,3 trains at Fulton Street. This new wheelchair accessible passageway with a free transfer opened in November 2017.

Continuing down both platforms almost immediately the platforms pass above the Dey Street Passageway. This is the block-long underground concourse (outside of fare control) connects the Fulton Street Transit Center with the World Trade Center Transit Hub and opened in 2014 (originally ending with staircases up to the R train local platforms). There are banks of turnstiles along both sides of the Dey Street Passageway, the northern bank is signed for Uptown & Queens only, since it leads to a staircase and elevator to the Uptown platform, but only an elevator to the Downtown platform. The Southern wall of the passageway has two different banks of turnstiles (connected within fare control, providing a free cross-under) and a staircase up to each platform.

At platform level, above the Day Street passageway each platform also has a platform-level bank of turnstiles. The Uptown platform’s lead to streetstairs on the NE and SE corners of the intersection with Dey Street and Church Street. This is where the 24 hour booth used to be before the massive station changes with the opening of the WTC Transportation Hub. The Downtown platforms turnstiles lead to an exit directly into the Balcony level of the Oculus at the World Trade Center transportation hub. When the station reopened in 2011, the portions of the walls were tastefully a reflectively white that avoid the standard blue plywood the MTA usually uses for these construction areas with the downtown platform right along the side of the bathtub, and this temporary wall had a door that if opened lets in the light of the construction site beyond. This used to connect to a fare control area and to the outdoors in its 3 post-9/11 open years providing access to the temporary outdoor PATH station. In 2011, just before the uptown platforms reopened all of the old signs that used to say WTC were replaced and now say 9/11 MEMORIAL.

Towards the southern end of the station, the Uptown platform has a secondary entrance open from 6am to 7pm Monday through Friday (as of 2010), this contains a streetstair at the NE corner of Church Street and Cortland Street and another entrance inside 1 Liberty Plaza at the SE corner of Cortlandt Street and Church St/Trinity Place (claimed by Google to change names at this intersection). Here two staircases go down at the entrance to an intermediate level where it splits: one short staircase continues down to a narrow high turnstile equipment fare control area and another streetstair to the NE corner from the uptown platform. To reach the downtown platform another staircase leads to an up escalator/staircase down to an underpass beneath the tracks to an unstaffed (and no MVMs) bank of turnstiles inside it that lead to a single staircase up the downtown platform. On the downtown platform there is a further on platform exit to a wheelchair accessible entrance near the Southern end of the World Trade Center’s shopping mall under 4 World Trade Center.
Photos 1 & 2: October 2, 2003; 3-17: May 19, 2010; 18-58: September 6, 2011; 59: August 16, 2014; 60-68: November 11, 2014; 67 & 70: October 5, 2018; 71-84: October 7, 2018

Art For Transit at 
stanm

Arts For Transit at Cortlandt Street

Trade, Treasure and Travel, 1997-2011

Handmade Ceramic Relief Tile

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Last Updated: November 27, 2021
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