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Vintage Depots - Penn Station

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Vintage Depots

By Dan Minkus

 

Pennsylvania Station - New York City

The old Pennsylvania Station in New York City was torn down in 1963, an act that led to increased awareness of New York's architectural treasures and the passage of historical preservation laws. It may be said that the loss of Penn Station led to the saving of Grand Central.

The $484 million Penn Station Redevelopment Project will transform the James
A. Farley Post Office, itself a landmark, into the new Penn Station. The new station will have an architecture that will hark back to the original station and reflect New York much more than the existing Penn Station. The Post Office will continue to serve as a post office after it's transformation. New York Gov. George E. Pataki (R) suggested that eventually, the station will be renamed for retiring Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who has championed the project since 1993.

The post office, a sturdy neoclassical landmark rimmed by 20 Corinthian columns, was built in 1914 as a sister building to the original Penn Station, a similar gem that was demolished in 1963 to make room for Madison Square Garden. The airy redesign is intended to evoke the old station but with modern twists, including elegantly curved trusses, huge skylights and about 50,000 square feet of retail space. The most prominent feature will be a glass-and-steel frame rising 75 feet above the roof line, crowning an enormous atrium below. Overall, the project will occupy about one-third of the eight-acre post office, increasing Penn Station's passenger capacity by 30 percent.

The ground-breaking for the new Penn Station is expected early next year, with construction continuing through 2003.  

The new Penn Station

The old Penn Station

This page was last updated Thursday, May 11, 2000

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