• Penn Station Questions...

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by cu29640
1) I was reviewing an old thread on the Penn Station demolition debris lying in the meadowlands. Per the attached famous photo...the scene would put the debris right south of the current Bergen Interlocking location...under a parking lot of a warehouse area. The large signal bridge in the photo is still present today.
Possibly the land was owned by Penn Central and the debris brought by truck. There are some very rare photos I am unable to locate of a kid playing on the statues and one can see trucks/bulldozers in the area.
Is any debris still present in the area? Did all of the ornate items get relocated?
2) The modern Penn Station has been renovated often. Where is the location of the early large ticket counter? Was it in the round entry room near the current enclosed waiting area?
Does anyone have pics of the "new" Penn Station 1966-70's?

**The photos are not mine and serve merely for reference. Though I find the debri photo one of monumental importance. Showcasing the view of the time...the lack of appreciation...in one ghostly image.

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CU: Interesting topic - and one that I am not sure about the appropriate forum for this subject.
PRR, Penn Central and maybe Amtrak are only three places that this topic would fit...

The first color photograph is in the rotunda that was built during the second half of the 1960s of
the main Amtrak ticket office as it appeared during the 1970s. A interior renovation project that
was done in the mid 1980s removed the ticket office and the office and concession space behind
it opening up the floor across to the main waiting room and staircases relocating the ticket office
to the back west wall of the station. Today this is roughly where the enclosed secure waiting area
is located. I regularly traveled through Penn Station in the 70s and 80s and remember it well.

A way of finding out about what is in the Meadowlands area along the rail line leading from the
tunnel entrance west towards Secaucus Junction short of going out there and/or trying to view
the area from a passing train is to look at Google or Bing maps satellite overviews. Remember
that more then 50 years have passed since this picture of the Penn Station debris was taken.
Some of these artifacts such as shown may have been recovered in some manner...

  by shadyjay
Its interesting to note that the facilities at that time were roughly in the same spot as they were in the old station, just sunken a little and with much lower ceilings. The "rotunda" area I believe would have been roughly where the main waiting room was in the old station. When they built the clamshell ticket office, it made passengers have to walk around it, I'm assuming they blasted out the old ticket windows to make this space, having a roundabout route into the concourse. If you think of the existing information desk at the bottom of the escalators in the rotunda as being the site of the main waiting room, you have to take a path on either side (around the secured waiting room) to get to the concourse. And then the concourse itself is basically in the same spot as it was, with some of the original staircases still in place.

Its still a shame that the original Penn Station was destroyed. I wished I had gotten a chance to see it, but at that later date, it was viewed as more of a nuisance than an architectural marvel that needed to be saved. And its destruction did infact help to save countless other big (and small) city stations, Grand Central an immediate benefactor. Too bad Penn couldn't have survived a couple more years to get into public ownership. The story may have had a much different outcome.