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The Insider's Connection

Landmark Designation

Old Pennsylvania Station: The Demolished Landmark that Sparked a Movement

What happens when money and progress interfere with history and cultural significance? How do communities mobilize when they see an injustice, and how does big business respond? How do relics of the past get repurposed today, and why does it matter? In June 1904, construction began on Pennsylvania Station. Eight acres of existing buildings were cleared to make way for what was meant to be a gateway into the city. McKim, Mead & White, the architects commissioned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company to build this major transit hub, had been planning for years, drawing on neoclassical architectural styles to create a Beaux-Arts masterpiece in midtown Manhattan. After 6 years of construction, Pennsylvania Station received its first travelers in 1910. The millions of commuters who passed through enjoyed shops, lounges, long benches, phone booths, and daylight pouring in through semi-circular windows…

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January 28, 2019