In honor of April Fool’s Day, we’ve put together a guide to NYC’s most hated building, Penn Station. Most of the negativity around Penn Station focuses on its aesthetics, its confusing signage, and the fact that it replaced a soaring piece of McKim, Mead & White architecture. But we’ve always believed that one of its strengths was that it was extremely functional. We agree with Second Avenue Subway‘s Benjamin Kabak who writes, “While Penn Station is ugly and dingy and, at best, utilitarian, the problem with the station isn’t necessarily the way it looks.”
Today’s guide is thus about the hidden “gems” in this oft-traveled yet ignored space.
1. There are subtle reminders of the now lost Penn Station
On an escalator into the Long Island Railroad waiting area, a cross section of the old Penn Station notes “YOU ARE HERE,” beneath the main rotunda:
In the Amtrak area are framed photographs of the old Penn Station, ignored by passengers more interested in charging their cell phones: