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The Port Authority as you’ve never seen it before

October 17, 2011

Is this really the way the 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal once looked? The postcard doesn’t lie.

When it opened in 1950, replacing several smaller bus stations that dotted Manhattan, the bus terminal—then spanning 40th to 41st Streets—featured a spiffy Art Deco exterior.

In the late 1970s, it was expanded to 42nd Street and fitted with the X-shaped steel trusses it still sports today—a design that put the terminal on a 2008 list of the 10 ugliest buildings.

“Those who pass by this iron monstrosity might be tempted to ask about a completion date, but alas, this is the finished product,” wrote, which put out the list.

“Hated by New Yorkers and tourists alike, this aptly named station is enough to make you take the train.”