One of the locations you’ll discover on our Remnants of Penn Station tour (next one on July 26th) is the original coal-fired power plant of the station, built as a mirror image using the same Tennessee granite as the lost Stanford White masterpiece. This building on 31st Street is just one of the many pieces (though this is certainly the largest remnant) scattered throughout the station area including eagles, railings, floor tiles and more.
Tickets for our July 26th tour of the Remnants of Penn Station:
Our tour, led by Tamara Agins, a project manager for the NYC Department of City Planning, and Justin Rivers, producer of the play The Eternal Space, about the demolition of Penn Station, is an expert-guided tour by those passionate about the history and future of the station. Rivers will show archival photos, some never published, from his 5000+ image collection of Pennsylvania Station.
Today, the power plant is a significant state of disrepair, with windows. As of 2003, it was reported by The New York Times that the building was used for “storage and backup systems.”
With its 24/7 transit system and a subway system that dates from 1904, New York City seems like a city of mass transportation. Its residents expect a lot, always pushing for better and increased service, more transit lines, and more bike lanes, but sometimes its worth taking a step back and remember where we came from.
In partnership with The Eternal Space, a play about an untold story of the destruction of Penn Station, we have added another slot of our special tour of the remnants of Penn Station on May 31st with Tamara Agins, tour guide, project manager at NYC Department of City Planning, and author of our popular article on the Secrets of Grand Central and Justin Rivers, playwright of The Eternal Space.
Sign up for the advance notice list for our summer tour here:
Weaving in moments from the play, which features over 1,000 never before published photographs of the 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, the tour will also cover the past, present and future plans for the central transportation hub in New York City, accompanying a hunt for the remaining pieces of the grand McKim, Meade & White station.
A portion of the tickets supports The Eternal Space, which has been previewed at The Center for Architecture. The event includes an optional drink afterward and conversation with the tour leaders and The Eternal Space creator at Tracks bar in Penn Station, which has some remnants of its own.
One of the highlights of the comprehensive exhibition, Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks at the Museum of the City of New York, is the collection of architectural remnants from New York City’s buildings, both lost and still standing. From a marble eagle head from the original Pennsylvania Station to original lime moldings from Grand Central Terminal and cast iron medallions from the Battery Maritime Terminal, there is plenty for architecture and preservation buffs to revel in.
The Manhattan Bridge under construction by Eric Rosner
You might recognize Eric Rosner‘s illustrated work from his street art on the walls of New York City. Using ink marker, Rosner has a sketch style that brings a vitality to New York City’s architecture–the buildings seem to emerge and flow upwards from the activity that one imagines was in the streets during the Gilded Age. Our knowledge of that time period, of which Rosner has a penchant for, comes from the staid, black and white vintage photography so oft-circulated. While those images are beautiful, they don’t always capture the hustle and bustle that characterized this particular era–the first skyscrapers, technological advancement, and the rise and fall of great fortunes.
Photo by Iwan Baan for the Museum of the City of New York Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks
On April 21st at the Museum of the City of New York, the exciting new exhibition Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks will open, exploring how the pioneering landmarks legislation, passed in 1965, has been a key contributor to the rebirth of many New York City neighborhoods. More than just a historical recounting of the transformative law, Saving Place will look at how the impact of the landmarks law is woven into the urban fabric of the city today. Via the curation of original documents, drawings, paintings, videos, building pieces, paintings and more, the exhibition will situate history within the modern context.