Two new eagles found at a NJ Transit facility in Newark.
The “Summer of Hell” is officially underway at New York’s Penn Station! But among the current chaos and confusion in today’s station, a recent tip helped Untapped Cities trace more of the “missing” old Penn Station remnants to a parking lot in Newark, NJ.
For close to three years we’ve led over 1000 people through Penn scavenging remnants of the old Beaux-arts station buried in the current one. Tour goers not only get to see and touch some of the former station for themselves, they are also able to understand where old station pieces were located and what happened to them after the demolition began in 1963.
One of the first stops on our Remnants of Penn Station Tour is the Andrew Leicester mural of the Adolph Weinman Day and Night clocks.
While at the Andrew Leicester Day and Night Ghost Series stop in the LIRR concourse, a recent guest said he saw pieces of a clock sculpture sitting in a NJ Transit holding facility parking lot in Newark. He was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike when he spotted the concrete sculptures out of the corner of his eye and immediately pulled off the highway to take pictures. He was gracious enough to send us the location with the caveat that the remnants may have been moved since he found them a few years prior to the tour.
Join us on an upcoming tour that will showcase more than a dozen remnants of Penn Station, still left inside the current station:
The clock and eagle sculptures being taken down from Pennsylvania Station’s facade in 1966. Photo by Norman McGrath.
During the demolition process, most of the Adolph Weinman sculpted eagles designed to flank the four clock sculptures were already spoken for and spread throughout the country. Two remain on 7th Avenue right outside of 2 Penn Plaza and are currently featured on the tour. But the clocks had a more tragic fate: They were dumped in the Meadowlands along with the other heavy granite from the station’s facade.
A Night half of the clock sculpture now in the Brooklyn Museum Sculpture Garden.
One complete clock sculpture was sent out to Kansas City, MI for an Eagle Scout Memorial. Two were considered lost to the Meadowlands, although a Night half of a sculpture was found in a Bronx recycling depot in the mid-1990s. It now stands in the Brooklyn Museum’s Sculpture Garden.
Another was sent out to Ringwood Manor State Park in Ringwood, New Jersey where the Cooper Union had a summer camp for city youth. The sculpture sat out in a field for years until New Jersey Transit re-acquired them about fifteen years ago. They told Ringwood Manor officials that NJ Transit intended to install them on Newark Penn Station’s facade. They were never used and their location remained a mystery…until now.
When Untapped Cities took a field trip to Newark, we were excited to see that the clocks and two eagles were exactly where our tour guest had found them. We are still tracking down the origin of these particular eagles, however – whether they’ve’ been in NJ Transit possession since demolition or acquired later.
Two eagles and the Day and Night clock Sculptures in quarters in front of a NJ Transit facility in Newark, NJ.
A quarter of the Day side of the clock sculpture in Newark.
A winged hourglass crowned the Day and Night clock sculptures.
The already beleaguered Penn Station is now the subject of further public ire for the long overdue infrastructure updates currently inconveniencing thousands of people. But these newly discovered remnants remind us of an important fact: Few of the 650,000 commuters who use Penn on a daily basis know that at the core of today’s Penn is a 117-year-old station that needs both recognition and care not just for posterity but for future utility as well.
Join us on an upcoming tour of the Remnants of Penn Station!
If you’re interested in seeing a side of Penn Station that few know about, join us for our popular Remnants of Penn Station Tour. Now, it will feature an exploration of the new West-End Concourse under the Farley Post Office—so even if you’ve attended before, our tour is updated and even more fun!