Thursday, August 27, 2009

Penn Station

On this week's episode of Mad Men, they used the controversy over the old Penn Station as a plot point on the show. I've read a few things about Penn Station's destruction and found out that there really wasn't much coverage by the news concerning it until it was too late. The realization of what was lost led directly to the founding of the New York Landmarks Commission. The New York Times lamented"Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age of Roman elegance." I never got to see the old Penn Station because it was torn down before I was born, but I did talk to a friend of mine who had been there shortly before it was torn down, and she told me how grand and elegant it was. Makes me wonder how something like this could happen. I've seen photos of the station, and cannot believe that it was torn down in the name of progress. The eagle sculptures by Adolph Weinman were all rescued before the demolition. The new Penn Station has no character and is very bland looking. Can't believe that the current incarnation of the station is what came out of the ashes of the former grand old structure.

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