As far as New York City subway stations are concerned, the old City Hall station is clearly the "Jewel in the Crown". The station was opened as in 1904 as the centerpiece of the new underground subway of the Interborough Rapid Transit System (IRT). City Hall's architects were George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge. The names Heinz & LaFarge are synonymous with the iconic style known as the “City Beautiful” movement that was popular at the turn of the 20th century and can be seen in their other works such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and in other parts of the IRT where only a smattering of their work survives. Also working on the City Hall Station was noted engineer Raphael Guastavino (responsible for the tiled arches and vaults) and sculptor Gutzon Borglum (the man who would be responsible for Mount Rushmore).
Despite its beautiful architecture, City Hall Station has been closed to passengers since 1945. One of the reasons for its premature decommissioning is illustrated in this photo - the sharply curved platform was not suitable to the new, longer fleet of subway cars being developed at that time. Fortunately, the station has been reasonably well preserved, including the beautiful Romanesque dome and arch structure as well as leaded glass skylights which are designed to allow natural light to stream from above.