The story of the spectacular and much-lamented train terminal whose destruction inspired a new passion for historic preservation. Includes photos.
In early twentieth-century New York, few could have imagined a train terminal as grand as Pennsylvania Station. Yet, executives at the Pennsylvania Railroad secretly bought up land in Manhattan's infamous Tenderloin District to build one of the world's most spectacular monuments.
Sandhogs would battle the fiercest of nature to build tunnels linking Manhattan to New Jersey and Long Island. For decades, Penn Station was a center of elegance and pride. But the ensuing rise of the airplane and automobile began to diminish train travel. Consequently, in the mid-1960s, the station was tragically destroyed. The loss inspired the birth of preservation laws in the city and the nation that would save other landmarks—such as New York’s Grand Central, just blocks away.
Here, Paul Kaplan recounts the trials and triumphs of New York's Penn Station, with extensive photos and illustrations.