28 March 2012

BART 70's Space Age Tiles

While passing through BART's Powell Station yesterday, we took a few shots of the 70's space age futurama utopia hex bubble dome tiles. While trying to find a somewhat clean set of tiles, which is a true challenge (should have brought some 409), we noticed that there are some faux hex dome tiles! The walls surrounding the BART Police Station have wallpapered tiles! Heavens to Betsy! The horror!
Classic Hex-Domed Tiles
Flat faux hex domed tiles (left), real hex domed tiles (right)

















We don't know when the Police Station was added to Powell, and we're pretty sure it wasn't part of the initial design of the station. We could be wrong.

Might BART been unable to afford the tiles at the time? Were they not available? Did George Lucas take all of the remaining tiles when he filmed THX-1138 in the BART system? Who knows.

What we do know is that the domed tiles put some pizazz into both Powell and Montgomery stations, even after 40+ years of service. Just please have them washed when the modernization is complete. To rephrase Don Draper in Mad Men's first episode the other night, "Just because you see a futuristic white tile in a magazine doesn’t mean it’s practical.”.  Here's to hoping BART doesn't go uber practical and replace the station with wallpaper versions of the hex-dome tiles.

They just need to call up our friends at Subway Ceramics, who have the great url subwaytile.com. The planned Farina pizzeria spinoff most likely ordered their tiles from these guys.  They sell those same snazzy hex-dome tiles, as "specialty" tiles. Just ask for the 33HD00's if you want the domed ones. Now that's a futuristic name!

The price isn't readily apparent but it appears the hex tiles (probably the flat ones) cost $5 a piece. Maybe BART can get a discount since they'd be buying so many, and the two stations are virtual ads for Subway Ceramics.

Subway Ceramics web site SubwayTile.com, with the Hex Dome Tile. Courtesy Subway Ceramics

4 comments:

  1. On my way home the other day, I noticed that the new building kitty-corner from you at 18th/Valencia has some white tiles that look suspiciously like BART tiles.. Was that the inspiration for your post?

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    1. Magnus,

      In fact there was an earlier post titled "New Valencia Pizzeria bubbles with BART" (http://urbanlifesigns.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-valencia-pizzeria-bubbles-with-bart.html). In it, I described a bit of my conversation with the folks putting up those tiles at the future pizzeria on 18th & Valencia. So the answer to your question is yes!

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  2. Aha, that explains it! Predates my subscribing to the blog..

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  3. While trying to find a somewhat clean set of tiles, which is a true challenge (should have brought some 409), we noticed that there are some faux hex dome tiles! stack stone

    ReplyDelete