Pennsylvania Station

370 Seventh Avenue (btw 31st/33rd Streets, 7th/8th Avenues)

The original Pennsylvania Station was built between 1903 and 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The project included the first rail tunnels under the North (Hudson) River, permitting Pennsylvania Railroad trains to enter Manhattan directly from New Jersey. The station was designed by Charles Follen McKim (1847-1909), William Rutherford Mead (1846-1928) and Stanford White (1853-1906). The placement of the tracks underground as they entered the station resulted in an elegant terminal that lacked the obtrusive towers and train sheds that characterized most other rail terminals throughout the country. The station was viewed as a grand gateway to the city during the golden age of railroading. (Source: Historic American Buildings Survey)

Old Penn Station Tracks
1910
Old Penn Station Tracks
Old Penn Station waiting room
1910
Old Penn Station waiting room
Old Penn Station waiting room (HABS)
5/10/1962 12:00 AM
Old Penn Station waiting room (HABS)
Old Penn Station Concourse (HABS)
4/24/1962 12:00 AM
Old Penn Station Concourse (HABS)
Seventh Avenue Entrance (HABS)
5/8/1962 12:00 AM
Seventh Avenue Entrance (HABS)

The supplanting of railroads by auto and air travel in the middle 20th Century left the Pennsylvania Railroad wallowing in debt and unable to adequately maintain the large facility or resist offers to purchase the air rights from the station. Despite fierce community opposition, the building was demolished in 1964 and replaced with Pennsylvania Plaza, which included office buildings and a new Madison Square Garden. What was once a grand entrance into the city became a fetid basement. However, the destruction of Penn Station resulted in the birth of the modern landmarks preservation movement, which succeeded in saving a number of other architecturally important structures throughout the city.

Seventh Avenue
9/1/2004 04:47 PM
Seventh Avenue
Seventh Avenue - 32nd Street
9/1/2004 04:50 PM
Seventh Avenue - 32nd Street
Departure board
9/10/2006 02:07 PM
Departure board
Amtrak Superliner at a platform
9/10/2006 02:27 PM
Amtrak Superliner at a platform
Waiting to board trains
11/21/2006 10:58 AM
Waiting to board trains
NJ Transit train at a platform
11/24/2006 08:23 PM
NJ Transit train at a platform
Passageway
11/24/2006 08:24 PM
Passageway
Amtrak ads in Penn Station
6/17/2008 07:33 PM
Amtrak ads in Penn Station
Amtrak ads in Penn Station
6/17/2008 07:33 PM
Amtrak ads in Penn Station

Madison Square Garden is three lies in one. It's round, it's ten blocks north of Madison Square and you don't want to eat anything that grows there. This is actually the fourth Madison Square Garden. The first Madison Square Garden was an open air arena built in 1879 at 26th Street and Madison Avenue on the site of the old New York and Harlem Railroad passenger depot (which was replaced by Grand Central Terminal). The second Garden was a Moorish building designed by Stanford White built in 1890 on the same site. The second Garden was demolished in 1924 for the construction of the New York Life Insurance Building. The third Garden was built in 1925 at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue on the site of the city's former streetcar barns. The third Garden was architecturally unremarkable and the building was notable primarily as a venue for hockey and boxing. The third Garden was demolished in 1976 and replaced in 1984 by Worldwide Plaza. The fourth Garden (pictured here) opened in 1968.

Madison Square Garden
9/1/2008 02:32 PM
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
9/1/2008 02:33 PM
Madison Square Garden
Penn Station entrance under the Garden
9/1/2008 02:34 PM
Penn Station entrance under the Garden
Entrance between the Garden and Two Penn Plaza
9/1/2008 02:36 PM
Entrance between the Garden and Two Penn Plaza
One Penn Plaza rising over Madison Square Garden
9/1/2008 02:36 PM
One Penn Plaza rising over Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
9/1/2008 02:37 PM
Madison Square Garden
Seventh Avenue / Two Penn Plaza
9/6/2008 08:44 AM
Seventh Avenue / Two Penn Plaza

The James A. Farley Post Office, which sits just west of Penn Station across Eighth Avenue, was designed by the same architects as the old Penn Station and built around the same time. Since the tracks run directly under the building, the building presents the prospect of at least partially undoing the mistake of history and building a new Penn Station in the old building. Former NY Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a champion of the idea, although, as of this writing, the project is stalled due to a lack of funding and real estate developers trying to find a way to add to their fortunes with this public project.

Sign for Moynihan Station
5/2/2008 03:04 PM
Sign for Moynihan Station
West side of the post office
9/1/2008 02:25 PM
West side of the post office
Flag pole on the post office
9/1/2008 02:27 PM
Flag pole on the post office
Engraved sign on the south side of the post office
9/1/2008 02:30 PM
Engraved sign on the south side of the post office
Parking garage sign
9/1/2008 02:31 PM
Parking garage sign
South side of the post office
9/1/2008 02:31 PM
South side of the post office

To the southwest of the Farley Post Office is the Morgan General Mail Facility (341 Ninth Avenue), which was built in 1933 as part of a New Deal building program that was responsible for numerous new postal buildings around the country. The design is credited to James A. Wetmore, who was Acting Supervising Architect of the Public Works Branch of the U.S. Post Office Department. The six-story building is faced in light tan brick and has corbelled brick pilasters and a limestone belt course, friese, cornice and coping. The building was originally designed to host a railroad spur from the High Line.

Much of the interior was destroyed by a fire in 1968 and the building was renovated in 1974. The three-story Morgan Facility Extension building to the south was added around 1992, possibly resulting in demolition of an old public bath facility.

Morgan General Mail Facility
5/2/2008 03:20 PM
Morgan General Mail Facility
Morgan General Mail Facility
5/2/2008 03:18 PM
Morgan General Mail Facility
Morgan General Mail Facility
9/1/2008 02:17 PM
Morgan General Mail Facility
Morgan Facility Extension
11/17/2006 03:52 PM
Morgan Facility Extension
Morgan Facility Extension
11/17/2006 03:52 PM
Morgan Facility Extension
Morgan Facility Extension
11/17/2006 03:49 PM
Morgan Facility Extension

As the rail tracks head toward the Hudson River tunnels, they pass through under buildings and through an open air yard between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Rail yard west of the post office
9/1/2008 02:24 PM
Rail yard west of the post office
Rail yard west of the post office
9/1/2008 02:24 PM
Rail yard west of the post office
Rail yard west of the post office
9/1/2008 02:27 PM
Rail yard west of the post office
Rail yard west of the post office
9/1/2008 02:28 PM
Rail yard west of the post office

West of 10th avenue is a train yard for the Long Island Railroad, which has long been coveted for commercial development, most notably a proposed football stadium which was derailed by community and business opposition in 2005.

LIRR train yard
9/1/2008 02:19 PM
LIRR train yard