Philip Coppola spends nearly 40 years illustrating New York City’s Subway Stations

Date
21 April 2016
Reading Time
1 minute read

The Great Big Story is a New York-based video network dedicated to delivering stories on the “untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing.” For its latest instalment it talks to Philip Coppola, a man who loves New York’s subway stations so much that he’s spent the last 38 years sketching them in glorious detail with just a ball point pen. 

The film follows Phil studying the intricate mosaics that decorate the subway stations and tells the tale of how this “passion project” took off. “Why am I doing this? My purpose in this study is to make a record of what we’ve got,” Phil says in the film. “I want to document when it was done and give credit to those who made it possible.” Phil started the all-consuming project in 1978 and has created four volumes of drawings so far. He thinks he’ll be close to cataloguing all 469 stations by about 2040: “I’ll be in my 90s then… I hope I can see!”

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Great Big Story: A Big (Apple) Passion Project (still)

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Great Big Story: A Big (Apple) Passion Project (still)

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Great Big Story: A Big (Apple) Passion Project (still)

Above

Great Big Story: A Big (Apple) Passion Project (still)

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

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