The 72nd Street subway station for the B and C lines reopened on Thursday afternoon after being closed since May for repairs and other upgrades. The project also includes a new artwork designed by Yoko Ono called Sky, which the MTA said is actually six separate mosaics.
“In mezzanine and platform areas where wall tiles were in need of replacement, MTA Arts & Design installed a new ceramic mosaic titled “SKY” by Yoko Ono. “SKY” comprises six separate mosaics spanning both station platforms and mezzanine. The mosaics altogether measure 973 square feet and show a blue, cloud-filled sky embedded with written messages of hope. As riders move through the subterranean subway station, the messages of hope appear in the clouds as the perspective shifts in each mosaic. The transformation of photographs into mosaic sky paintings with subtle gradations in color and tone has created a visually striking station environment. Two mosaics are above the mezzanine stairs leading to the southbound platform where two more pieces are featured, and one mosaic each is installed on the northbound platform and in the main turnstile area on the mezzanine level.”
“I’m thrilled that my new work, ‘SKY,’ will be opening at the 72 St subway station just steps from my home and Strawberry Fields, which I created in memory of my late husband,” said Yoko Ono in a statement. “It will bring the sky underground, so it’s always with us. I hope this will bring peace and joy to my fellow New Yorkers for many years to come.”
There are also new digital signs, LED lighting and countdown clocks, the MTA said. Other enhancements were more structural: “Crews repaired concrete slabs and steel columns, conducted waterproofing in areas of known leakage, cleaned and repaired rusted infrastructure, replaced floor slabs and existing tiles on platform and mezzanine walls, and power-washed the concrete floors and wall tiles.”
This is the second of three local stations to close for upgrades. The one at 110th reopened over Labor Day. The station at 86th Street remains closed for work.