The only thing New Yorkers love to kvetch about more than housing woes are the infinite number of ways public transportation has done them wrong. But now, thanks to the Bushwick real estate boom, New Yorkers can kill two birds with one stone and live inside a new subway-themed apartment building located at 132A Stanhope Street in Brooklyn.
Construction began back in January after the two-story family home that once stood there was sold to a development company named 132A Stanhope LLC. What quickly emerged was a monolithic four-story ode to the MTA. At first, the apartment building’s only ornamentation was an innocuous handful of rivet-heavy balconies, which later led to the slightly more baffling installation of track-like iron railing running up one side directly over the new floor-to-ceiling windows. By the time an oversized, nonfunctional clock was affixed to the corner, it seemed like a perfectly logical addition to the structure's already eclectic, steampunk vibe.
But with the changing season also came the arrival of a team of painters who set to work adding one final touch to the apartment’s exterior: an accurate map of every subway line in the vicinity depicted across the entire right-side wall, and finished off with a bright red circle proclaiming, "YOU ARE HERE."
To put this in the context of the neighborhood: one side of the structure now abuts an elementary school, completely blocking out whatever light their windows once enjoyed; and the other side reminds the residents of 132 Stanhope Street a subway system that they’re likely already acutely aware of.
But if the outside is odd, it’s nothing in comparison to what’s happening inside the building, where each resident will have to decide for themselves whether access to a roof deck and their own washer-dryer unit outweighs the cons of a bathroom mirror inexplicably shaped like a kitschy porthole, one-foot wide closets, light fixtures that look more like avant-garde wire sculptures, and neon green and yellow metal staircases inside the top and bottom floor apartments.
All of that pales in comparison to the hallways, where the building’s heavy-handed motif reaches its zenith. Directly to the right inside the front door is a fully tiled wall proudly proclaiming the building to be "STANHOPE STREET STATION." On the left, a hand-painted mural features an outdoor subway station. It is ostensibly modeled after the real life M train stop two blocks down, except this one advertises itself as a stop on the B/D/F/M line (a combination that doesn't exist outside of Manhattan), and features a very meta miniature subway map painted onto one of the platform displays.
The ceiling is also covered in corrugated tin like the roof of an old subway car and illuminated with caged industrial lighting. In front of each door is a phosphorescent yellow rumble strip that, instead of requesting you to step away from the platform edge, offers each resident's apartment number. And every floor also comes with its own cheesy blown-up stock photo of NYC's subway system emblazoned on the faux-tiled concrete walls.
The good news is, for anyone who regrets missing out on the chance at living at a college themed dorm, all eight of the apartments are completely empty and have yet to be put on the market by the building's broker, Subway Realty Group. But you'll have to accept some problematic errors, like the fact the A in 132A Stanhope comes enclosed in a neon yellow circle, when every New Yorker knows it in fact belongs to the blue line. But hey, usually you have to pay extra for this kind of quality griping material.
Emily Kirkpatrick is an Associate Style News Editor at People. You can find her work here. She also happens to live across the street from what is surely "one of the ugliest apartment buildings ever created." Neither the real estate broker nor the property manager are answering her calls now.