THERE USED TO be two beautiful train stations in New York City:
Grand Central Station, which still exists and is still beautiful, and Pennsylvania Station, which still exists and is, well, no longer beautiful.
If you’ve ever been to New York, it is very likely you have passed through it as it is a major subway and train hub for Manhattan and the wider New York area.
The reason Pennsylvania Station is no longer beautiful is that the original Pennsylvania Station was torn down in 1963. This made room for Madison Square Garden and the new Penn Station, which is called many things, but never “beautiful.”
The old Penn Station was built in 1910.
Historian Michael Beschloss tweeted a picture of it recently. That picture, which is from 1929, is below, along with one of Grand Central with the same sun-beam effect. And there’s a link to more pictures of the old Penn Station at the bottom of the page.
Out with the old and in with the new makes sense sometimes. But in this case, it came at a big cost.
More gorgeous pictures of Penn Station before it was demolished can be seen here.
- Henry Blodget