The New York City transit system is complex and gigantic. It's loved and hated. But parts of it are also very beautiful. Here are some of the coolest subway stations in the system.

East 180th St., West Farms

This station, which looks nothing like any other
This station, which looks nothing like any other MTA subway stations, underwent a top-to-bottom renovation in 2012 that took 2-years and cost $66 million. The station, which serves both the 2 and 5 subway lines, links travelers with the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. Originally, the North Bronx transit terminal, it served as an administrative building for an old railway system. It boasts an impressive a terracotta roof and a commanding location on top of a rock. All aboard, indeed. (Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin)

Abandoned City Hall Station, City Hall

Decommissioned since 1945, the old City Hall Station
Decommissioned since 1945, the old City Hall Station can still be seen if you stay on the 6 train after it's last stop (Brooklyn Bridge City Hall.) The train loops through the old station before pulling back into the current station. It's an impressive site: the structural vaulted ceilings, skylights with painted glass and Rafael Guastavino tiles are quite impressive. It is considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, and New Yorkers are lucky that this "ghost station" is ever in view. It's ironic that the beautiful design ended up being the reason why the station closed: the tight corner could not be extended to make room for longer cars and platforms. (Credit: Michael Freeman)

The Fulton Center, Downtown Manhattan

The brand new, much-awaited Fulton Center subway station
The brand new, much-awaited Fulton Center subway station finally opened this fall. It's both a work of art and a bustling commuter hub. It's tech-forward, shiny, made of glass and full of natural light. People have said commuting through it makes their lives better. We agree. (Credit: FLICKR/ MTA)

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Avenue H, Midwood

The Station House at Avenue H in Midwood
The Station House at Avenue H in Midwood is the only "shingled wooden cottage turned transit station house" in the MTA system, according to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 2012, artist Ed Kopel permanently installed his piece "Brooklyn Bucolic" at the site, creating a bit of the country in the city. The rocking chairs are made of bronze and don't actually rock, but they can be sat in and enjoyed by all. They are anchored down, and inspired by the Shaker community of New Lebanon, New York. (Credit: MTA.info)

Wilson Avenue, Bushwick

The Wilson Avenue station on the L line
The Wilson Avenue station on the L line features "old-style" mosaics in the BMT style that were installed in 1928. The Arts and Crafts style, according to Forgotten NY was seen in a few subway designs around that time and was a response to the more ornate Beaux-Arts style subway design that preceded it. Another interesting tidbit about the Wilson Avenue station, trains that are Manhattan bound run a level below the Canarsie bound trains. The station had to be designed as a bi-level because the available space, between Trinity Cemetery and the New York Connecting Railroad was too narrow. (Credit: FLICKR/ Urban Gazelle)

The Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

When it comes to transformative subway stations, the
When it comes to transformative subway stations, the 81st Street/ Museum of Natural History station comes immediately to mind. Exiting the subway and stepping onto the platform can feel like your first step into the museum itself. Beautifully elaborate tiles bring to life animals, birds and mammals and vivid color instantly brightens the mood. How lucky are those commuters who live or work nearby and see this on the daily? (Credit: Scott Beale/ Laughing Squid/ laughingsquid.com)

Court Square, Long Island City

Court Square is a mega subway station where
Court Square is a mega subway station where three different lines converge, allowing for massive numbers of people from Brooklyn and Queens to transfer to Manhattan bound trains. The connection between the G train and the E and M trains is long, but there are two things that ease the pain. One is a moving walkway that allows passengers to more quickly transfer, and the other is a gorgeous tiled artwork by the late Elizabeth Murray. Called "Streams," the piece stretches more than 40 feet, practically the entire length of the tunnel. It's a sight to see: whether you're commuting or just checking it out. (Credit: FLICKR/ ShellyS)

West 181st Street, Upper Manhattan

This gorgeous art deco subway entrance on West
This gorgeous art deco subway entrance on West 181st Street leads to one of the deepest train stations in the MTA system. It's 120 feet below the surface, and is only accessible via elevators, which have human operators. The station is so classic, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. (Credit: FLICKR/ Susan Sermoneta)

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Smith-9th Streets, Carroll Gardens

The Smith-9th Streets subway station carries the F
The Smith-9th Streets subway station carries the F and G trains. Located over the Gowanus Canal at 87.5 feet high, it's the tallest subway station in the world. In 2013, it reopened after a years-long renovation and now boasts, in addition to impressive views, state-of-the-art design and modern technology. (Credit: MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann)

West 190th St. Bennett Avenue entrance, Washington Heights

Another very deep train in Washington Heights, this
Another very deep train in Washington Heights, this one is 140 feet below the surface. It's entrance is carved into rock and is surrounded by greenery. To our knowledge, this is one of the only stations in the city with an entrance that brings to mind Narnia rather than the MTA subway system. (Credit: FLICKR/ Kristine Paulus)