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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE ALASKA, c. 1920s

Sic Transit: 1910

Sic Transit: 1910

New York circa 1910. "Bird's eye view of new Pennsylvania Station." Demolished in 1963. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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Another McKim, Mead & White

You can see the glass roof covering the train platforms at far right. That would make Seventh Avenue the street in the foreground, at left. Across the avenue the site being excavated is now occupied by the Hotel Pennsylvania, opened in 1919 and designed by the same architectural firm as the (sadly, now gone) station.

The Pit

Does anybody know what was constructed in the excavation pit? I have searched for images of that side of the station and have only found evidence of a green-grass park that existed; however, I believe the park must have been excavated to build something else.

Many thanks!

A little later and farther uptown ...

Mrs. Kennedy Onassis, who regretted the destruction of Pennsylvania Station and may have contributed to preservation efforts, was a citizen of New York by the
time destruction of Grand Central Terminal was imminent. One proposal for the new station was "Grand Central Lanes," a bowling alley to be built above track level!

Jackie wrote a beautiful, persuasive letter to Mayor Beame urging the preservation of GCT. There were other big and biggish names advocating preservation. Betty Furness is one name that comes to mind.

The tragedy of Pennsylvania Station's destruction became more apparent in retrospect and this awareness helped energize opposition to Grand Central's destruction.

No snakes

But plenty of ladders.

How did it get there?

Think about this:

Most of what you see in this building was delivered either by train, or horse and wagon. That goes for the interior too.

Another Rooftop Riddle

Did you notice what looks like someone sleeping on top the building, near bottom left?

Pardon Me Boy

Back in the day you could apparently leave here 'bout a quarter to four, read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore.

What is she doing

on the rooftop at the Rikers Drugs building??

A great loss

I remember reading that among the notables who campaigned to stop the destruction of the architectural gem was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The loss of the station was instrumental in kickstarting the preservation movement in New York City.

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