See and touch over a dozen remaining structural pieces from old Penn Station on this guided, 90-minute tour in New York City. This special tour of the Remnants of Penn Station is developed by Justin Rivers, author and playwright of 'The Eternal Space,' a play about the demolition of Penn Station. Combining never-before-published photographs, the tour also looks at the past, present, and future plans for the transportation hub.
For more than a year, intrepid New Yorkers and visitors have been on a hunt for the architectural remnants of the original Pennsylvania Station, still viewable inside and around the current station. There are few people that contest the tragedy of the demolition of Penn Station, which began on October 28, 1963, after the Pennsylvania Railroad found itself in serious financial trouble. The McKim, Mead, and White masterpiece, only 53 years old, became a martyr for the landmarks preservation cause when the air rights to Penn Station were sold to accommodate Madison Square Garden.
As history repeats itself, the current battle for Penn Station usually includes the relocation of Madison Square Garden to accommodate a modern transportation that might better accommodate the needs of the 600,000 people that traverse through Penn Station each day ' more people daily than the number that pass through the three major New York City airports combined. New plans generally also involve returning natural light to a station that has been illuminated by a fluorescent glow for decades.
As the latest grandiose plans get revealed for the station's rehabilitation, it is more than likely that any improvement to the subterranean maze will require the station to remain operational during construction, which was the case during the 1960s re-do of Penn Station. This unique requirement has allowed many artifacts and remnants still standing within the current station.
Other tour highlights include'Penn Station's Art,'often ignored by commuters and life-long New Yorkers; the Golden Ticket, where tour participants receive a reproduction made from the very first ticket to Pennsylvania Station, issued to an LIRR customer in 1910;'Penn's Demolition, to learn why Pennsylvania Station was demolished and exactly how it was done; the Largest Penn Remnant, which is about as close to the original Penn Station as possible ' virtually no one knows it exists, but tour participants will know where it is, what it is, and the story behind it; and'Moynihan Station, the old station's sister building across the street.
Watch the process unfold in pictures taken by renown architectural photographer, Norman McGrath.
DETAILS: Price: $35 What to know:'The tour is 1.5 hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes