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Though Penn Station is a drab, low-ceilinged rat maze of a station, it used to be the opposite. It was vast, light-filled, and gorgeous. The old Penn Station was the brainchild of Alexander Cassatt, head of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Everyone, that is, except for one other railroad family that owned another station across town.
The Vanderbilt family owned Grand Central Station, which was not anywhere near as “grand” as it is now. Penn Station was only 40 years old at this point, but already its days were already numbered. Pennsylvania Railroad executives knew that they could profit if they could rent out the space above the station to a big, tall building. There were proposals to build parking garages, amphitheaters, and  a 40-story office tower.
A deal was struck: Pennsylvania Railroad would keep the train tracks in place, and sell the air rights above them.
A year later, on October 28, 1963, jackhammers tore into Penn Station’s granite slabs. The demolition took about three years.
After the destruction of Penn Station, Mayor Robert Wagner created the first Landmarks Preservation Commission. And in 1968, Penn Station’s old rival, Grand Central Terminal was slated to join this list.
Justice William Brennen wrote of Grand Central’s architecture: “Such examples are not so plentiful in New York City that we can afford to lose any of the few we have. Correction: The official name of the current Grand Central structure is Grand Central Terminal, not Grand Central Station. It’s annoying to hear Grand Central Terminal, repeatedly and incorrectly referred to in the episode as Grand Central Station. As a tourist arriving from the UK via Newark, entering Manhattan for the first time by train through Penn Station is actually quite amazing as NYC is hidden from view until you emerge into a full size film set, eyes wide open like a child falling out the back of a dark Narnian Wardrobe, its amazing! Right now Moynihan Station could be a showcase of how we advance a major transportation hub in NYC. I was surprised to hear in the podcast Grand Central referred to as Grand Central Station (which is the subway station), especially from a supposed lover of Grand Central Terminal.
The episode also didn’t do much in terms of analysis or the inevitable ambiguity with this story.
The demolition of the original Penn Station was a tragic loss for New York City architecture.

The New York City Planning Commission has laid out a case for restricting a special permit to 15 years that allows Madison Square Garden to operate in the heart of Midtown.
New York Penn Station - Midtown West - New York, NY341 Reviews of New York Penn Station "In reading many of the negative reviews . Penn Station Access StudyImproving travel to the Penn Station area from Metro-North's east-of-Hudson .
Newark Hotels - Hilton Newark Penn Station Hotel, NJ - New JerseyHilton's Penn Station Newark hotel is in the heart of the Business District and is . About Our New York Hotel - Hotel PennsylvaniaNew York's Hotel Pennsylvania is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, and our . After running our popular Remnants of Penn Station tour for over a year now, we can safely say that it’s a station that keeps on giving, very unexpectedly. For more than a year, we’ve been bringing intrepid New Yorkers and visitors on a hunt of the architectural remnants of the original Pennsylvania Station still viewable inside and around the current station.
Perpetual complaints about New York City’s transportation system are a significant part of New Yorkers’ love-hate relationship with the city. As reported by the New York Times, Governor Andrew Cuomo has revealed more about his ambitious plans to modernize New York City transportation and infrastructure, calling his proposals “the biggest construction program” in New York State history. NEW YORK CITY - SEPT 12, 2013: Underground view at Pennsylvania Station in midtown Manhattan with Long Island Railroad train at platform. For Cassatt, Penn Station would fix a problem that had plagued New York for years — getting between Manhattan from New Jersey. Not wanting to be outdone by the beauty and grandiosity of Penn Station, the Vanderbilts tore down their Grand Central and built a newer, shiner, Beaux Arts-style Grand Central Terminal. But the one that won out was the futuristic sports and entertainment palace — Madison Square Garden.
By 1966, most of Penn Station’s remains — the Doric columns, the granite and travertine details — had been dumped in a New Jersey swamp. In 1965, the group helped pass the city’s first ever Landmarks laws so that something as drastic as the destruction of Penn Station, never happened again. Most problematically, they didn’t meet very often — they gathered only six months per three-year period. You should see some of our ageing stations in the UK …then you will know what depressing is! I am a biking tour guide of Central park and a student of architecture history (so a dream job, on a bike).

I agree, Penn Station today is unbearable however it’s painting with some massive brushstrokes on Grand Central terminal. Some of the loft buildings offer cool former manufacturing space with brick walls, high ceilings and over sized windows.
The move would hopefully restart negotiations to get "the world's most famous arena" to relocate, freeing up space to rebuild Penn Station and undo half a century of dismal train travel into New York.
Weaving in moments from the play, which features over 1,000 never before published photographs of the station by renown photographers Norman McGrath, Peter Read more. We discover new remnants of the original McKim, Mead & White masterpiece inside the much-maligned current station every day, which helps make the whole experience of traversing through Penn Station all the more pleasant when you know what to look for.
There are few people that contest the tragedy of the demolition of Penn Station, which began on October 28, 1963, after the Pennsylvania Railroad found itself in serious financial trouble. The McKim, Mead and White masterpiece, only 53 years old, became a martyr for the landmarks preservation cause when the air rights to Penn Station were sold to accommodate Madison Square Garden, that perpetually moving entertainment venue. With Mayor de Blasio’s endorsement of the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan yesterday, here are five more transportation system plans that may become part of New Yorkers’ daily commute in the near future, and hopefully not part of their daily rant. There would be no Madison Square Garden Paramount Theater, and instead an 8th avenue grand entrance with concourse, retail and commercial space. 650,000 people suffer through Penn Station on a their daily commute — more traffic than all of three the New York area’s major airport hubs combined. At the time, passengers could only get across the Hudson River via ferry. Cassatt built the first ever train tunnel to run underneath the Hudson River, which was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. The case went to the Supreme Court, and on June 26, 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New York City’s Landmark Law. I share the tragic story of Penn Station every time we stop at the Onassis Reservoir, renamed in her honor as another great victory in Manhattan for the landmarks commission (she helped saved the reservoir right around the same time as Grand Central) However, ever since about a year and a half ago. Today, we have yet a new remnant to share with you: original glass and unique fencing that descends along an original staircase on Track 17 in the Long Island Railroad concourse.
But one aspect of his plans especially caught the attention of New Yorkers: his renovation visions for Penn Station, called the Empire Station Complex. And, c’mon, can’t we find anyone less predictable than Roberta Brandes Gratz on this subject?
Many factors led to the decision to get rid of the station and replace it with the current structure.

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