As part of the MTA’s ongoing (and somewhat costly and unpopular) Enhanced Station Initiative program, several Upper West Side subway stations closed earlier this year for overhauls that included adding digital signage, new seats, and other cosmetic upgrades.
One of those, the 72nd Street B/C, is now open as of this week, and comes with a new mosaic from multidisciplinary artist Yoko Ono.
The pairing of artist and station is no accident: Ono moved into the Dakota, the historic co-op building perched atop the subway stop, with her late husband, John Lennon, in the 1970s, and has called it home ever since—even after Lennon was killed in front of the building in 1980.
The artwork, titled Sky, is made up of six mosaic panels installed throughout the station; each one depicts a blue sky with clouds, along with words and phrases like “dream,” “remember love,” and “imagine peace” (the last one is a constant theme in Ono’s work; there’s even an Imagine Peace tower in Iceland, created to commemorate Lennon’s life and work).
“It will bring the sky underground, so it’s always with us,” Ono said in a statement. “I hope this will bring peace and joy to my fellow New Yorkers for many years to come.”
Other improvements to the station include structural repairs—to steel columns, tiles, and rust-covered infrastructure—as well as the addition of LED lights, new benches, digital wayfinding, and glass barriers near the entrance.