A photographic catalog of entrances to New York City's
underground subway stations and their immediate surroundings.
Portals are openings to somewhere else; their presence delineates between two distinct physical spaces. In the context of the New York City mass transit system, the stairwells and elevator shafts distributed across the city’s boroughs act as portals, signifiers of the border between the diverse, contextually saturated environment of the metropolitan street and the standardized, monotonous quality of the subterranean landscape.
Portals is a photography series documenting the entrances to the underground stations of the New York City subway system. While the entire city rail system is generally understood as one collective entity, approximately sixty percent lies below ground, operating entirely underneath the streets of four of the five boroughs. These entrances act as the only form of navigational markers for an invisible infrastructure traversed by over five million passengers daily.
See the Constraints page for further understanding of the project scope and process.
The first exhibition of the project took place in April 2018 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
All photographs documented May - August 2017
Select images from the project are posted on social media at @takethe___train
Navigating the Portals website
There are the three ways to navigate the project content. All three provide the same links to the subway station pages.
A text-based list of information for each subway station. This list can be organized by category and is searchable.
Click on the Project ID text to reach the corresponding station page.
A scaled map of the geographic location of every Portals station and their corresponding subway lines.
Click on station markers to reach the corresponding station page.
This page does not function on mobile devices.
An image gallery consisting of one photograph from each station, ordered by project ID.
Click on an image to reach the corresponding station page.
Individual station pages can be accessed by adding the project ID (001-255) to the URL
(Example: www.rsprochaska.com/portal255 will take you to the page for Portal 255: Delancey - Essex St)
Each of the 255 subway stations has their own page with the following information: