Pennsylvania Station, 370 Seventh Avenue
Station Waiting Room from North West. Designed by the firm McKim, Mead and White. Photographed by Cervin Robinson in 1962.
Building/structure dates: 1903 initial constructionBuilding/structure dates: 1963 demolished
Significance: The construction of Pennsylvania Station was one part of a large building program undertaken in 1903 by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Included in this program was the construction of tunnels under the North River, which enabled Pennsylvania Railroad trains to enter Manhattan directly from New Jersey for the first time.Because the trains entered on tracks below ground level, the architects did not follow any of the more common architectural forms for a railway station and designed instead a rather low, colonnade facade...The rich sequences of spaces in the terminal culminated in the great concourse with its glass and steel roof. The design of the main waiting room was reputedly based on the Roman Baths of Caraculla. From a planning standpoint, the station was important for its separation of various forms of transportation on different levels and for the convenience of its many entrances and exits to the city.Pennsylvania Station was built during the Golden Age of railroading, when its owners intended the terminal not only to serve the specific needs of the railroad by also to embellish the city as a monumental gateway...
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