Whether you live, work or visit New York City, there’s a decent chance that you’ve encountered Pennsylvania Station.
Between Amtrak and Long Island Railroad, it’s the busiest train station in the USA. It’s also the heart of a central New York neighborhood that so far has avoided significant development – until now. Today, the area’s poised for growth with new hotels, shops, offices and more, so we’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming year. (Watch for my update on the Hotel Pennsylvania next week!)
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So it was with interest that I read and looked at the great photos in a piece headlined, “Crimes Against Architecture,” a cheeky headline for a good piece by Manhattan real estate blog 6sqft.com. The piece looks at Penn Station and other historic buildings that were demolished to pave the way for “progress.” The article includes two photos that show the shocking difference between Penn Station “before” and “after.” It’s worth a look!
The piece also gives us some interesting history. The original Penn Station, for instance, “was a Beaux-Arts masterpiece completed by McKim, Mead & White in 1910, meant to welcome travelers to New York in a grand public space.”
The station’s facade was indeed grand, as you’ll see in the photo, with 84 granite Corinthian columns. When it was announced the building would be demolished, preservationists picketed but the building was razed anyway, the story says. The controversy led to the creation of the city’s preservation commission in 1965, ” just two years after the station was razed,” the piece notes.