It was 50 years ago today that demolition began on the New York icon that evokes intense nostalgia and mourning even today: the old Pennsylvania Station. To honor the day, Atlantic Cities rounded up some beautiful photos of the transit hub in its prime, but Curbed has opted to immerse us all in sad images of the de-construction process, as plans for Madison Square Garden loomed ahead. After all, it was the painful ripping apart of the soaring archways, domed ceilings, handsome columns, and more that lit a fire under the arse of the coalition that eventually made New York’s landmarks law a reality. The extensive demolition porn of yore comes to you courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York’s wonderfully extensive photo archives. Below, you’ll also find a handful of photos of Penn when it was still gloriously intact, which kinda intensifies the grief a little. While the site’s future remains uncertain—could we feasibly see a bonkers starchitect-designed railway station in our lifetimes?—the past is, sadly, a done deal.
Here now, what the pretty station looked like before the wrecking ball descended.
· Museum of the City of New York Collections [official] · 10 Gorgeous, Nostalgic Photos of New York’s Old Penn Station [Atlantic Cities] · All Penn Station coverage [Curbed]