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Thread: Demolished/Destroyed

  1. #211
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    What were they thinking when they not only demolished a beautiful building but replaced it with that shite?!

    That whole block is pretty disgusting now.



    http://followingthemozziah.blogspot....24th-2012.html

  2. #212

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    I agree. The two end parcels were sold and are coming down. I hope that the PoS with the signs comes down next.

  3. #213
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    well, the previous buildings weren't especially fabulous, but the current ones are especially pathetic

  4. #214
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    Fantastic article in the Times last week on the neglect of the old Penn Station:

    Longing for the Old Penn Station? In the End, It Wasn’t So Great

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP DEC. 30, 2015

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    Pennsylvania Station in a 1907 postcard. Eventually, the pink granite walls turned gray from neglect. Credit Detroit Publishing Co

    Pennsylvania Station was ruined long before it was wrecked.

    Its demolition is the stuff of New York legend, an act of architectural vandalism so unspeakable that it gave rise to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, saved Grand Central Terminal and upended the city’s development priorities.

    What this version of history overlooks, however, is that the Penn Station that was torn down between 1963 and 1966 was scarcely the building it had been a half-century earlier — luminous, voluminous and Roman in the grandeur it was given by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and the architect Charles Follen McKim.

    The critic Lewis Mumford, writing in The New Yorker, described the station in 1958, after the Pennsy — as the Pennsylvania Railroad was known — had finished modernizing it:

    “No one now entering Pennsylvania Station for the first time could, without clairvoyance, imagine how good it used to be, in comparison to the almost indescribable botch that has been made of it.”


    “A West 42nd Street garishness and tawdriness characterize the whole reconstruction,” Mr. Mumford wrote. “With this overall design to establish the level of taste, the fevered illuminations of the soft-drink machines are fitting embellishments of the general chaos.”

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    Penn Station in the years before its destruction. Credit Leonard Stern
    “One suspects,” he wrote, “that the subversion of McKim’s masterly plan was due simply to the desire to make the whole design an immense advertising display.”

    Wherever you turned.

    Illuminated billboard kiosks and a late-model Dodge (“suggesting to the guileless traveller the superior claims of private motor transportation”) clogged the central corridor of the once-elegant shopping arcade off Seventh Avenue.

    Stores and restaurants were shoehorned into spaces around the perimeter of the Eighth Avenue concourse, where there were no ticky-tacky luggage lockers and glaring telephone booths to distract from the majesty of the vaulted skylights above.

    At the center of the concourse — a position analogous to Grand Central Terminal’s information booth — rose an incongruous digital clock sponsored by Coca-Cola.

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    The new electronic ticket counter in 1956. The steel canopy had fluorescent lighting, and the serrated counters are of stainless steel. Credit Ernie Sisto/The New York Times
    The digital display was superfluous, since the concourse had long been graced by noble pendant clocks, their hours marked in Roman numerals. But these had been claimed and tagged by a watch company with signs that hung below, reading “Timed by Benrus.”

    What they weren’t trivializing or coarsening with commerce, railroad executives were simply neglecting. Whether desperately or cynically, they seemed to understand that redevelopment of their money-losing, nine-acre station would be more palatable if the public could be made to forget the glories of Mr. McKim’s original design.

    Pink granite walls were allowed to turn gray. Straw-colored travertine looked nicotine-stained. Jules Guerin’s murals disappeared under veils of grime.

    “The tragedy is that our own times not only could not produce such a building,” Ada Louise Huxtable wrote in The New York Times, in 1963, “but cannot even maintain it.”

    In Mr. Mumford’s eyes, the crowning horror was a modernistic, clamshell-shaped, sawtooth-edged, fluorescent-bathed ticket counter. It was built in 1956 in the general waiting room. Its metal-and-plastic canopy was suspended from the Corinthian columns that Mr. McKim had designed to evoke the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

    The $2 million ticket counter was supposed to convince passengers that railroading was as modern as flying. Clerks consulted a chart of available sleeping-car space over closed-circuit television monitors and, in theory, could make reservations in a matter of minutes. At first, however, the process sometimes took an hour.

    To Mr. Mumford, the true crime of the clamshell — a “symposium of errors” and an “overpowering blunder” — was its “great treason to McKim’s original design,” which it violated by sitting athwart and blocking the otherwise uninterrupted grand axial procession through the station from Seventh to Eighth Avenue.

    Mr. Mumford wondered whether railroad executives, temporarily thwarted in their effort to redevelop the station, had decided “to turn their energies to destroying the station from the inside, in order to provide a better justification for their plans.”

    Once their plans were fully laid in 1961, to replace the existing station with a new Madison Square Garden that would have a cramped but air-conditioned passenger waiting room in its basement, polite protests were mounted.

    But they were too little and far too late. Almost 20 years too late.
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    During the demolition process in 1964, a food testing center was moved across the hallway in the Seventh Avenue arcade. Credit Eddie Hausner/The New York Times
    In “The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station,” Lorraine B. Diehl said the death knell first sounded in 1944, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a bill to provide $1.5 billion in federal financing for new highways, including an interstate system.

    It sounded again in 1947, when the Pennsy reported an operating loss for the first time in its long existence. One month later, in March, a United Air Lines DC-6 reached La Guardia Airport only 6 hours 47 minutes after it left Los Angeles.

    It sounded again in 1949, when the railroads’ share of intercity passenger traffic fell below 50 percent. And again in 1956, when construction of the interstates began in earnest. And again in 1958, when National Airlines inaugurated domestic jet travel with a run between New York and Miami that took just 2 hours 15 minutes.

    But even a critic as astute as Mr. Mumford could not quite fathom the inevitable conclusion as he cataloged the many injuries done to Mr. McKim’s masterpiece.

    “The only consolation,” he wrote in 1958, “is that nothing more that can be done to the station will do any further harm to it.”

    Demolition crews arrived five years later. They quickly proved him wrong.

  5. #215
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    Even neglected, it could have been brought back as was Grand Central Terminal in its restoration

  6. #216

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    How much would it take to rebuild it in its former glory? Collect the eagles from around the country and return them to their resting places? Whether it be pink granite, or prefab, there are perfect examples of complete restoration. The Corn Exchange Building might not be a clear example, but it is 80 percent in liking to its original counterpart. Yes, there are possibilities to build a bigger, better, and state of the art station, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to return to our roots.

    Of course, then there is the factor of the Dolans.

  7. #217

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    There is a row of garbage 1 storey buildings at the north-west corner of 8th Ave and 36th St that I am shocked has not been developed yet.


  8. #218
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    Default New York Hippodrome - 1910 - Sixth Avenue 43rd to 44th Street





    Saw this interior shot and was impressed with the size of this building.





    Source: Staley's Views of New York 1910

  9. #219

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    What were they thinking when they not only demolished a beautiful building but replaced it with that shite?!

    That whole block is pretty disgusting now.



    http://followingthemozziah.blogspot....24th-2012.html
    I've waited a long time for this junk to come down!

  10. #220
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    It may not look pretty but it sure is a vibrant urban strip.

  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed007Toronto View Post
    It may not look pretty but it sure is a vibrant urban strip.
    so funny that you would say that lol - it's actually a pretty dead strip. No-one goes there except to shop at J&R ergo no one goes there

  12. #222
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    Looks vibrant in the picture.

  13. #223

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    Actually when J&R was there, it was pretty hopping. With J&R dead, not so much.

    J&R didn't go bankrupt. They chose to shut it down. Redeveloping the real estate was a big reason. I'm a little surprised that hasn't happened yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    so funny that you would say that lol - it's actually a pretty dead strip. No-one goes there except to shop at J&R ergo no one goes there

  14. #224

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    It has been a while. Has anyone heard anything about the renovation of their main corner store?

  15. #225

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    Quote Originally Posted by BStyles View Post
    It has been a while. Has anyone heard anything about the renovation of their main corner store?
    That site is being sold too, for residential development. I think the sale already went through.

    I don't know if J&R is coming back, but not on this block.

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