Image by Ron Ziel
The original Pennsylvania Station was a marvel of architecture from its Beaux-Arts exterior that stood like an imposing entrance to New York City’s west side to its lofty steel interior that harkened back to the Belle Époque of France. Its loss, which was one of the clinching demolitions that cemented the preservation movement, is still felt in New York City’s historical consciousness today. Architectural competitions seek to return the station to its glory, while better serving the population. And now, a play called The Eternal Space is in the works about an untold story from the demolition.
On October 28th, 1963 Pennsylvania Station’s demolition begins. The wrecking crews work outside in the morning drizzle to dismantle a fifty-three-year-old architectural marvel. Inside, a construction worker turned photographer is running away from his past while an aging English teacher can’t let his go. Their coincidental meeting begins a three-year debate over progress, preservation, and posterity, as one man fights to keep the station standing while the other is instrumental in taking it down. This is the premise for The Eternal Space, a two-man play that charts an unlikely friendship through the social and cultural upheavals of the mid-1960s.
The play will feature over 1,000 never before published photographs of Pennsylvania Station by renown photographers Norman McGrath, Peter Moore, and Aaron Rose, along with the work of railroad aficionados Alexander Hatos, an employee of Pennsylvania Railroad and Ron Ziel, a railroad historian.
Untapped Cities is proud to serve as one of the sponsors of The Eternal Space’s Kickstarter campaign to bring this project to fruition. We’ll be offering tours locating the remnants of the original Penn Station within today’s structure followed by a cocktail with the creator of The Eternal Space. The $175 Kickstarter backing also includes a photographic print by Norman McGrath, a ticket to the show, poster and postcard.
Join us for our next tour of the Remnants of Penn Station: