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Thread: Pennsylvania Station 1910-1963

  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    Grand Central Terminal's 100 year anniversary is coming up and I found some construction facts interesting. I had always been under the impression that the original Penn Station was much more vast and grand than Grand Central. I guess I was wrong:

    "While Pennsylvania Station opened earlier and to rave reviews, it could not compare to Grand Central in magnitude. Penn Station and its yards spanned 28 acres. Grand Central covered 70. Penn Station had 16 miles of rails that converged into 21 tracks serving 11 platforms. The comparable figures for Grand Central originally were 32 miles, 46 tracks and 30 platforms. Grand Central required twice as much masonry and nearly twice the steel that Penn Station did. Fifteen hundred columns were installed to support the street-level deck and the buildings that would rise on it. Another $800,000 was spent on steel reinforcement, not needed for the terminal itself, but to support a skyscraper that eventually might rise above it. The terminal alone cost $43 million to build, the equivalent of about $1 billion today; the entire project set the Central back about $80 million."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/ny...ars-later.html
    All these figues are true. However, I think one of the things that made Penn Station remarkable was its main waiting room, which was the largest interior space in the city and one of the largest public spaces on the planet.
    Last edited by Don31; January 23rd, 2013 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #92

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    The Penn Station main waiting room was the largest for three years, until GCT opened.

    The above ground building of Penn Station was larger than GCT (about 1.5 acres I think), and it had a 225 foot arcade that led from 7th Ave to the waiting room. But the main room was slightly smaller, although higher.

    PS........277 x 103 x 150
    GCT......287 x 120 x 125

  3. #93

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    True. But it was the height that was so stunning. I hope I'm not giving the wrong impression, I'm not dissing GCT at all....

  4. #94
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    What is the size/dimension in comparison to Calatravas hub at the WTC??

  5. #95

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    The PA description is - 1.5 times the size of GCT.

    I don't know how accurate these numbers are:

    The oculus at floor level: 350 x 145 (widest point).
    At street level: 320 x 100.

    From the floor to the highest point of the roof: 160

  6. #96
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    I look forward to hearing about folks who have had a chance to go to both and compare their impressions of the stations. I suspect that WTC will be incredible but still not as nice a Penn.

  7. #97

    Post Thoughts on Penn Station

    One thing that might have saved the original Penn Station would have been if the original architects realized that they might need to build structures on top of the old Penn Station years later, it could still have been up today, but then we might not still have Grand Central and other places like it.

    As much as it pained people to see the old building destroyed, the big problem of the time was not just that more people were living in the suburbs, but a new home was going to be needed for a modern Madison Square Garden to replace the one between 49th and 50th streets that was rapidly becoming obsolete (but could have been kept as a concert venue long after the new one opened had they been smart since the old one could have been reconfigured to seat 12-13,000 for concerts and smaller events too big for the new Garden for many years until Worldwide Plaza was built in the mid-to-late 1980s). In this case, it was a "necessary evil" that likely kept that area from becoming even more crime-ridden than it wound up being if the old Penn Station had remained (in my view, that area would have had a lot more crime during the 1970s, '80s and early '90s given the way the old Penn Station was built). The irony is, the current MSG has actually been around longer than the old one was and will be for some time to come as the oldest building in use by the NHL and eventually will be for the NBA as well.

    There now is a move to in the next decade or so build a new MSG from 28th-30th Streets and 9th-10th Avenues and rebuild the old Penn Station as it was. While I like this idea, what I would do with Penn Station is build a slightly smaller version of the old station, keeping the existing 2 Penn Plaza office building and entrances to the current Penn Station on 32nd and 34th and 7th (west of 7th in the latter case) and having the grand entrance on 8th Avenue instead of 7th, also doing it to allow future construction of office towers on top of a new Penn Station as well.

    This would be probably be about 10-15 years out, but well worth it in my view.

    Last edited by Walt Gekko; March 30th, 2013 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Gekko View Post
    One thing that might have saved the original Penn Station would have been if the original architects realized that they might need to build structures on top of the old Penn Station years later, it could still have been up today, but then we might not still have Grand Central and other places like it.

    One of the original concepts for Penn Station envisioned a hotel atop the structure, but the idea was veteoed by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
    Last edited by Don31; May 1st, 2013 at 09:55 AM. Reason: typo

  9. #99
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    found a couple new images I hasn't seen before from:
    http://collarcitybrownstone.com/2013...york-city.html



    The place was certainly heavily "soiled" in its final days of existence before demolition. It would have needed tens of millions of dollars in renovations, but I'm sure we would have found the money eventually

  10. #100

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    Grand Central Terminal's ceiling also used to be as dirty as the little patch they left for reference:


    http://farm1.staticflickr.com/84/238...f258aadb_o.jpg

    If that's not a soiled ceiling, I don't know what is. It didn't discourage cleanup and renovation efforts, despite a short-lived campaign to demolish that terminal as well.

  11. #101

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    Demolition started 50 years ago today.......

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/1...nn_station.php

  12. #102

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    And 50 years later it still infuriates some people. Hopefully they will build something better after MSG moves out. Thanks for the post, Don31.

  13. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by mariab View Post
    And 50 years later it still infuriates some people. Hopefully they will build something better after MSG moves out. Thanks for the post, Don31.
    You're welcome mariab. I agree about MSG.....

  14. #104
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    The underlying support of steelworks and stoneworks was meant to ensure that this building lasted centuries, not decades.

    It underscores the importance of teaching our children the importance of respecting civic works of the past as they imbue history into our streetscapes. The demolishion of this relic is not only a failure of the decision makers of that generation but of that of their parents as they did not teach them to appreciate important works of human accomplisment; like this station.

    Lets make sure that when it may seem like 60 yrs from now the Calatrava station may seem obsolete (maybe due to the optimization of hovering vehicles that replace cars/trains) our decendants understand how proud we were that it was built and it should stand for as long as its physical makeup allows it to represent our cherished civic achivements.


  15. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by TREPYE View Post

    The underlying support of steelworks and stoneworks was meant to ensure that this building lasted centuries, not decades.

    It underscores the importance of teaching our children the importance of respecting civic works of the past as they imbue history into our streetscapes. The demolishion of this relic is not only a failure of the decision makers of that generation but of that of their parents as they did not teach them to appreciate important works of human accomplisment; like this station.

    Lets make sure that when it may seem like 60 yrs from now the Calatrava station may seem obsolete (maybe due to the optimization of hovering vehicles that replace cars/trains) our decendants understand how proud we were that it was built and it should stand for as long as its physical makeup allows it to represent our cherished civic achivements.
    AMEN to that Brother......

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