W is for White Marble Corridor

Monochrome path station, NYC train

Several times during recent years, I have traveled through the PATH station at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and watched it go through different stages of construction. Each time, I have marveled at this beautiful, airy station as it slowly unfolded. White marble, high ceilings, and the unique structure gives the impression that you’re walking through a dream. Maybe you fell asleep on the train, and your subconscious is playing with the idea of walking through the lobby of a museum dedicated to displaying the giant skeletons of ancient mythical creatures.

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The West Concourse of the World Trade Center PATH station is now called the World Trade Center Transportation Hub because it connects the PATH to several subway lines and includes new pedestrian walkways. The station, created to replace the World Trade Center station that was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, was designed by Santiago Calatrava. He and his project have come under fire in the New York press for being delayed and overbudget. This article, The Glorious Boondoggle, discusses the controversy, as well as this article.

The design has also been mocked for its look, which is intended to represent a bird taking flight. Critics have had fun with this one, calling it “a turkey skeleton after it’s been stripped clean at Thanksgiving,” and saying that it “looks like the inside of some fantastically large (but immaculately clean) marine organism” here. They say this, of course, after praising the beauty and majesty of the space.

WTC path station west concourse

Parts of it have been opened over the past year or two, and according to this article, it seems that the station’s centerpiece, the Oculus, opened to the public last month. The photos of the finished Oculus in the article are exciting, and I can’t wait to see this in person.

Even walking through the station in a limited capacity, with jersey barriers, fences, and bright orange construction barrels marring the view, I leave awe-struck and inspired by this dreamy place that is unlike any other normal, functional, (mostly concrete) train station on my journeys into the city. It’s going to be amazing to walk through the completed space.

Sculpture at Brookfield place and WTC path station

Here’s one more dreamy version of the white marble corridor.

NYC train station, path station West


I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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21 thoughts on “W is for White Marble Corridor”

  1. Very happy to see it here in the post. I live and work near Edison, so never actually got a chance in the recent past to be at the Path (i worked next to Times Square a couple of years back).

    1. That’s cool that you recognized it. I haven’t heard of him before researching this station, but I checked out his website and I do see a distinctive style.

  2. I remember the old WTC PATH station ~ this looks like “the future” made live. I wish we could flash forward 20 years and see it. I wonder if it would look dated or just as modern as it does right now?

    1. It is very modern, and I think the look will stay so for a while. From a train station perspective, it’s so different from the other dim, concrete PATH and subway stations that I think it will stay fresh. To me it feels like walking through a museum, and I hope it will stay timeless in that way. In the main section of the Oculus, they will open shops this summer, which will add another element of staying new and fresh. I don’t remember much about the old station, except for those long escalators that seemed to go on forever the few times I saw them as a kid.

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