AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE RISE AND FALL OF PENN STATION

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE RISE AND FALL OF PENN STATION

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 9:00pm

Signature artwork for THE RISE AND FALL OF PENN STATION

Credit: Courtesy of Collection of the New-York Historical Society/Library of Congress

Trace the brief life of New York’s Penn Station, whose destruction spurred landmarks preservation.

One of the greatest architectural and engineering achievements of its time, New York’s Pennsylvania Station opened to the public in 1910. Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim, the station was a massive civil engineering project, covering nearly eight acres and requiring the construction of 16 miles of underground tunnels. Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, gambled millions of dollars to link the nation’s biggest railroad to America’s greatest city, but died bringing the station to life. No one could imagine that this architectural marvel built for the ages would be torn down a few decades later to make way for Madison Square Garden. Yet its destruction galvanized New York to form the Landmarks Preservation Commission, saving Grand Central Station and countless other historic structures. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE RISE AND FALL OF PENN STATION airs Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

"The Rise and Fall of Penn Station," from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE from Gothamist on Vimeo.

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