The phrase "The Rise and Fall of ..." applies to both Penn Station and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Both are now relatively long gone, with the exception of the PRR tunnels under the East and Hudson rivers, also conceived and built by Alexander Cassatt to deliver the Pennsy to the new Penn Station.
A Melancholy History with a Hopeful Future
The destruction of Penn Station in the 1960's is widely known as "the greatest act of public vandalism" to have ever occured in the United States. There was no legal way to stop the financially-challenged and poorly-managed Penn Central Railroad from selling this property to save it's own skin. It took four years to tear this building down -- the beautiful marble, granite, steel and glass structure so meticulously designed and crafted -- to make room for the new Madison Square Garden. It was the event which led to the creation of the Landmark Preservation Act which has subsequently saved so many wonderful buildings, including Grand Central Station. There is a great deal of information about Penn Station past and present to be published here. New York City is presently in the midst of a major effort to replace MSG with a new Penn Station. News about this project will be posted here with regular updates.
History of Penn Station
The Storied Pennsylvania Railroad
The Hudson and East River Tunnels to Penn Station
The Re-Birth of Penn Station: A 21st Century Story
New York City is in the process of making up for the destruction of the original landmark building. It is born out of necessity more than anything else, as the ugly underground station presently serving more traffic than any train station in the country is incapable of handling 600,000 travelers a day without tremendous inconvenience. The original Penn Station was built to accommodate this heavy load of people, but alas and alack, it was destroyed when only 50 years old.
There is amazing energy being put into creating a new Penn Station in New York City. Early in 2021 the Moynihan Train Hall opened. Directly across the street from Penn Station (former and present), it is a magnificent renovation of the former Farley Post Office into the new home of Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad. But this is just the beginning ... Click here to go to the page with news of the Moynihan Train Hall as well as planning and hoping for a new Penn Station on its original site..