New York City’s Old Penn Station

PennPennsylvania Station in New York City was the Northeast regional hub for the Pennsylvania Railroad, an iconic Beaux Arts style train terminal constructed in 1910. After World War II, in the wake of the modern, suburban, car-centric era, which emphasized road over rails, ridership fell. Meanwhile Manhattan real estate prices skyrocketed and the Pennsylvania Railroad, facing bankruptcy, decided it was time to step into the new era with an office complex/entertainment center.

Old Penn Station was demolished in 1963, and replaced by a new Madison Square Gardens stadium and entertainment complex in 196. Despite community opposition, proponents claimed the jobs and revenue would more than make up for the loss of this architectural jewel. Read more about the development battle (it will sound very familiar to community activists everywhere), and take a look at what was lost (from PBS’s New York: A Documentary Film):

 

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