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Grand Central Station, which still exists and is still beautiful, and Pennsylvania Station, which still exists and is, well, no longer beautiful. The reason Pennsylvania Station is no longer beautiful is that the original Pennsylvania Station was torn down in 1963.
Because it was dismantled over 50 years ago, many people are familiar with the grandeur of the original Penn Station only through photographs. The station was opened to the public on September 8, 1910 and the cost of the exterior alone was over $100 million. Seen from the exterior, the beautiful McKim Mead and White masterpiece represented a merging of modernity and classic architecture.

The Pennsylvania Railroad knew the land the building was sitting on was worth more than the station itself. Without regard that a great civic wrong was being done, Penn Station was demolished between 1963 and 1966. More than two generations of New Yorkers have lamented the loss and contemplated replacements to bring about a new edifice and station worthy of the name.
That picture, which is from 1929, is below, along with one of Grand Central (?) with the same sun-beam effect.
But according to the Pennsylvania Railroad, the owners of Penn Station, by the mid 1950’s, it was also grimy, outdated, in need of costly repairs and difficult to keep clean.

It was replaced by a banal, claustrophobic, ugly underground maze also called Penn Station which bears no resemblance to the original, to cattle chute passengers to their trains.
The Farley Post Office (also by McKim Mead and White) between 8th and 9th Avenues directly across the street from the current Penn Station is often discussed as hosting a remodeled station, but nothing has been done to bring those plans to fruition.
These conditions existed mostly because the Pennsylvania Railroad let the station fall into that state.

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