The demolition of the old Pennsylvania Station in October 1963 is considered a city tragedy, a “monumental act of vandalism,” as The New York Times put it at the time.
It was also a catalyst for the preservation movement that’s saved countless buildings from also ending up in pieces in a Meadowlands dump.
Here’s the original Penn Station main waiting room, above in 1911, inspired by glorious ancient Roman baths.
Imagine waiting for your train there, next to one of six Doric columns under a 150-foot high ceiling, with sunlight pouring through the lunette windows.
Here’s the Penn Station waiting room today, above right. Hmmm.
Then there’s the main concourse, where passengers would go to buy tickets before descending the stairs to their trains.
This is it above, in 1962, a year before it was torn down.
Here’s the concourse now, an ugly blur of fluorescent lights.