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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 2:31 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | Pennsylvania Station Original Building | 1910-1962

I thought I would create this thread as a tribute to the original NYC Pennsylvania Station Building brutally demolished in 1963. I think this paragraph from Wikipedia nicely summarizes that horrible act:


The demolition of the original structure — although considered by some to be justified as progressive at a time of declining rail passenger service — created international outrage. As dismantling of the grand old structure began, The New York Times editorially lamented:

"Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age of Roman elegance."

Its destruction left a deep and lasting wound in the architectural consciousness of the city. A famous photograph of a smashed caryatid in the landfill of the New Jersey Meadowlands struck a guilty chord. Pennsylvania Station's demolition is considered to have been the catalyst for the enactment of the city's first architectural preservation statutes.


source: Wikipedia


Please feel free to post images of the original building, facts, opinions and anything that pertains to this topic.

IMO the building should be commemorated in some way and I think the best way would be to construct an exact replica of it, either in NY or in a different city at some point in the future when demand for rail has increased to the point where a new large station is needed... - this of course will absolutely never happen, but it's good to have dreams On the bright side, maybe in a parallel Universe the original Penn Station was never destroyed
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 7:03 PM
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Man, I can't belive it has been almost 50 years since this marvel was destroyed


Btw how is it possibile nobody has replied to this topic untill now ?
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 7:43 PM
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Yeah, even in my One Penn Plaza thread people were going on about Penn Station, even though One Penn Plaza wasn't even built on the site, just alongside it.
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Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 8:17 PM
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Destroying Penn Station to put up the hideous monstrosity they replaced it with was pure vandalism. And leaving the tracks, waiting room, and platforms where they did turned them into a rat's nest. At least Grand Central survived and now that it has passed it's 100th birthday, I think it's safe.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvelfannumber1 View Post
Btw how is it possibile nobody has replied to this topic untill now ?
I think the sentiments towards what happened are universal here and need not to be belabored, as they've been expressed in previous threads. I mean, what's really left to discuss?
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2013, 9:52 PM
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In my wildest dreams, they move MSG to the Far West Side, into a 21st century space, with much better acoustics, sight lines, etc., and they build old Penn Station following the original McKim, Meade & White design, except with 21st century's advances in amenities, expertise, methods and materials.

They can't even move into the Farley Post Office, so forget about it.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 2:35 AM
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It's been 4 years and now someone finds this.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 12:21 PM
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I found some decently rare color pics of the station durning the demolition. It's quite an interesting look into the past:









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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2013, 4:32 PM
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^^^ I love those posters draped over the facade of that gem of a building that read, "New Madison Square Garden sports complex and redeveloped Penn Station." By "redeveloped," they meant butchered. Granted, I think someone said it was the railroads' fault for not investing in the building (i.e. keeping it up to standard er something along those lines). Still, the city lost a gem. Besides Phillly, Chicago, and DC to name a few classic grand stations that remain fully in tact to this day, the rest of the grand stations went either abandoned or demolished all together. Pittsburgh's union station still stands, but Amtrak moved out of there in the late 1980s and now occupies an architectural ass crack behind it. If they're serious about having Pittsburgh serve high-speed trains someday, I think they're going to need a new station. What is there now is way too small and beyond substandard. The same goes for Cleveland. Granted, neither city serves nearly as many trains or people that they did in the heyday of rail travel. I guess we could at least partially blame the decline in rail travel for the demise of some of our grand railroad stations in our larger cities...

Back to this discussion, NY Penn makes(or made) Philadelphia 30th Street look lame and pathetic! (I think that is saying something; I love 30th Street!)
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 3:10 AM
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The massive size of this killed it. If it were smaller I think it would have been saved, but business is business. Also, people were getting bored of stuffy brick buildings in that time and wanted new modern towers to be around.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 6:35 PM
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Crossposted from SSC:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
New York Pennsylvania Station. Sadly demolished 1963.













All above images courtesy Wikipedia


Source


Two GG1s and an EP-9.
Source


Vandelay on SSP

The future? Moynihan Station out of the Farley Post Office across the street:

Wikipedia
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2013, 7:56 PM
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Ugh, too many philistines running the show at that time, and perhaps even now... The Dolans were allowed to renovate this POS arena without much uproar from the city, what a mistake.

This crime must be rectified some day.
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 4:39 PM
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Been said a million times, and at least 1000 times by me already, but how could they? How fucking could they?

Reminds me of what I learned in Paris last summer: apparently after the revolution, Notre-Dame Cathedral was supposed to be flattened, but since they were too busy cutting off people's heads, things got delayed, and eventually saner heads prevailed.

Goddammit, (brings to mind the following) to think that de Corbusier felt that Paris needed to be remade as such:

providencejournal.com
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
Been said a million times, and at least 1000 times by me already, but how could they? How fucking could they?

Reminds me of what I learned in Paris last summer: apparently after the revolution, Notre-Dame Cathedral was supposed to be flattened, but since they were too busy cutting off people's heads, things got delayed, and eventually saner heads prevailed.

Goddammit, (brings to mind the following) to think that de Corbusier felt that Paris needed to be remade as such:

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Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 8:14 PM
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It was built to last forever and only lasted fifty years. The death of Penn Station was probably the postwar period's greatest architectural crime against humanity.
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 8:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue View Post
Ugh, too many philistines running the show at that time, and perhaps even now... The Dolans were allowed to renovate this POS arena without much uproar from the city, what a mistake.

This crime must be rectified some day.
As with post 9/11 chaos people wanted the Twins built BIGGER and TALLER than before. Same should be done here, with OLD Penn Station rebuilt with exact blueprints, except bigger and better. PLUS since it's Midtown and no much space left, throw in an Art Deco thousand footer to complement the Station and the ESB. At this point that is the ONLY thing that can rectify the architectural loss inhibited by ruthless savages.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 8:41 PM
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I agree, I have no idea why rebuilding an architectural loss is so taboo in the US nowadays, when several lost beauties in Europe were rebuilt after the war.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2013, 8:59 PM
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Classic piece of architecture writing from Ada Louise Huxtable, who died last year and who is remembered for articles like this:



NB: This is the before and after of the Times Tower:




Last edited by vandelay; Feb 12, 2013 at 9:09 PM.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2013, 12:53 AM
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While I agree that Penn Station should be rebuilt, the twin towers should not be rebuilt. It is "taboo" because those towers were a final resting place for well over a thousand people, some of which I used to have the pleasure and happiness of knowing and being friends with. Would I like to see the WTC again? Yes, but that is what pictures are for. I wouldn't be able to stand seeing the old Trade Center in person again just because it would be too much for me to handle. So in a sense, yes, Penn Station was a masterpiece, and should be rebuilt, but please do not bring the WTC into this discussion.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2013, 2:48 AM
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It's not being rebuilt, not now, not ever. Just accept it's gone and you will be happy. There's a reason the preservation movement started and it's because of this one being lost.

When I went to NYC, everywhere I walked around was preWWII except for the maid CBD center. And functionalist buildings are necessary there. Like I said, the main reason for this one being demolished was the massive area it took up. Trains were also becoming more obsolete in that time, as air travel increased and highways were increasing. No need for such a big station when people were using less trains.
That space was better used to make business than to be useless showiness. Plus, buildings like those are really expensive to maintain. What if this one went the route of the Michigan Central Station?
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