Monday, April 2, 2012

Pennsylvania Station

Pennsylvania Station designed by McKim, Mead & White c. 1910 from West 31st to West 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in New York City. From the station's opening until 1963 the building ushered people in and out of New York City in impressive style. In 1961 plans were announced for a new Madison Square Garden on the site with a new underground station at no cost to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Demolition began in October 1963. Arguably the worst demolition decision New York City has ever made, the destruction of Pennsylvania Station solidified the historic preservation movement in the city. Click HERE and HERE for Christopher Gray's Streetscapes articles and HERE to see the pile that replaced Pennsylvania Station.












Photos from The American Architect, 1910.

6 comments:

archibuff said...

I am going to go out on a limb here and say I think I might actually be on the same page as DED when describing Penn Station.

MM&W at their very finest. This is without doubt one of the most amazing structures ever to grace NYC and also one of the most epic failures of preservation. For a private RR company to thoughtlessly destroy such a monument to transportation is almost criminal. That glass and iron trainshed is beyond words. Gorgeous and elegant. A tragic loss.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Speaking of masterpieces. I'm going to go even further out on a limb and say one of the finest buildings ever to grace the country, and an inexplicable loss. These photographs are absolutely poetic---as was the building.

Anonymous said...

What a loss. My mother still speaks of the fact that she was only here for a few years before they tore this beauty down, she, being for England, was shocked that Americans would destroy such a great piece of architecture.

I assume the company still kept Whites name since he was killed in 1906, so he really had nothing to do with the creation of this lost gem.

Zach said...

The firm of McKim, Mead & White continued to carry the name long after all three of them died.

In this case the credit for Pennsylvania Station goes to Charles McKim.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of masterpieces. I'm going to go even further out on a limb and say one of the finest buildings ever to grace the country, and an inexplicable loss."

Especially when you add to the loss the ugly building they put in its place.

Lorra

The Down East Dilettante said...

Lorra, there is a wonderful quote about the destruction of Penn Station and its replacement horror, attributed to many, including Daniel Moynihan, but which I believe is actually Vincent Scully? "One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat".