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NYCís Lesson in Preservation: Demolition of the Original Penn Station
Mon June 17, 2013, 10:03 am
Penn Station, New York
New York City’s bustling Pennsylvania Station, commonly known as Penn Station, is located underground beneath Madison Square Garden and Penn Plaza in midtown Manhattan. Most New Yorkers don’t know that a train station that was once considered to be an architectural masterpiece was demolished to make way for the unremarkable complex that stands there today.
Demolition of NYC’s original Penn Station was extremely controversial. Completed in 1910, was an ornate Beaux Arts style structure of pink granite fronted by a colonnade of massive Roman columns. Seven acres of stunning marble interiors, soaring vaulted glass and steel train sheds, and magnificent concourse that comprised the seven-acre station were hailed as one of New York City’s architectural jewels. Over the years, however, Penn Station was allowed to fall into disrepair due to poor maintenance and ill-advised renovations, obscuring its grandeur . When the Pennsylvania Railroad optioned the air rights and developed plans to raze the structure to in order to build a new Madison Square Garden, train station and high rise buildings, the announcement went nearly unnoticed until the New York Times published an essay in 1961, just before demolition was slated to begin. New Yorkers finally took notice and were spurred to protest the demolition of their city’s landmark treasure, but their efforts were too little, too late, and the building was demolished in 1963.
Though Penn Station could not be saved, its demolition awakened Americans to the importance of preserving the nation’s architecture, and many new laws were passed to restrict demolition of historic buildings. Ten years after the original Penn Station was razed, New York’s landmark preservation act saved the majestic Grand Central Station from a similar fate.
R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services is New York City’s preferred demolition contractor. We have participated in demolition, renovation, and rigging projects at numerous national landmarks and historic sites including the United Nations, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and the Statue of Liberty. R. Baker & Son clients can always be assured that even the most complex, challenging projects will be handled with unsurpassed expertise and care.
About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services
R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.
Demolition, wrecking and razing, rigging, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business / SDVOSB, salvage, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and machinery moving, building demolition, riggers, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, interior demolition, investment and asset recovery.
R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701