Best Outdoor Secular Cathedral (2008)

Stained-Glass Windows at the 33rd, 40th, and 46th Street Stops in Queens

You may find yourself praying on the teetering roller coaster that is the elevated No. 7 train, but the line\'s other comparison to a house of worship is the series of STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS AT THE 33RD, 40TH, AND 46TH STREET STOPS IN QUEENS. A kind of hymn to the people of the area and their everyday prides, these unique variations on public mural-making put a down-to-earth spin on a lofty form. Set into concrete and fashioned from rough-hewn chunks that make broken glass seem beautiful, the windows use the urban environment\'s materials in the interests of its dwellers—ethnic heritage tributes, recreation scenes, paeans to local stadia. An antique expression restated with modern brevity, as thoughtful in their design as they are sensual in their effects, the train-platform windows are a truly populist art that reaches aesthetic heights while staying within easy reach of the street. And that answers one kind of prayer.


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