After more than a decade, the new Fulton Street Transit Center opened Monday morning at 5AM with a celebratory unveiling. Up to 300,000 straphangers are expected to visit the state-of-the-art, $1.4 billion station everyday.

After enduring setbacks from Hurricane Sandy and repairs to the tunnels damaged by 9/11, the 180,000-square-foot hub is now operational and is serving nine subway lines.

The project included renovations to one of New York’s oldest high rises, the Corbin Building, and officials hope that it will bring back a time when lower Manhattan was the center of life in NYC. Speaking to press Senator Chuck Schumer said that he hopes the greater accessibility, shops, offices and beauty of the complex will turn the Financial District into a “hot new area.”

(Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMAL New York)