Photo Source: The collection of Ron Ziel
On September 2nd, 1910 a select group of Long Island Railroad riders were given the above ticket for the inaugural preview ride on the new route from Long Island all the way into Manhattan which ended at the brand new McKim, Mead and White designed Pennsylvania Railroad Station. The Long Island Railroad concourse was the first branch of the station to open. This weekend, you can join our Remnants of Penn Station Walking Tour to discover what pieces of the original Beaux-Arts structure, which was demolished in 1963, remain in the station we use today and take home a reproduction of the 1910 ticket!
Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station
On the ticket, you can see that August is crossed out. This wasn’t a typo. The original preview date was supposed to happen in August, but was postponed until September. Long Island Railroad service to Manhattan officially opened to the public a few days later on September 8th, and the Pennsylvania Railroad branch didn’t open until November of that year. On the day of the first LIRR journey, riders booked passage to Long Island City then boarded the first electric train for a twelve minute maiden voyage under the East River to the brand new Pennsylvania Station. Passengers were given a special two hour inspection tour where the grand station was theirs to freely roam before the general public was admitted.
A picture of the first LIRR commuters to come into Penn Station on September 2, 1910. Photo Source: The collection of Ron Ziel.
This weekend, celebrate the LIRR anniversary by uncovering the remnants of the original Penn Station for yourself, and bring home a reproduction of the first LIRR ticket from 1910. Our Remnants of Penn Station Tour is led by Justin Rivers, Untapped Cities’ Chief Experience Officer and playwright of The Eternal Space, a play about the destruction of the original Penn Station. This tour covers the past, present and future of the station as you discover pieces of the original McKim, Mead & White structure, sculptures by famous artists, and other details you may otherwise walk right past. The tour is enhanced by photographs of the station- used in The Eternal Space – by renowned 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.
Pennsylvania Station right around the time of its opening. This is a view from 7th Avenue looking toward 8th. Note there is no Post Office or Hotel Pennsylvania yet. Source Wikipedia Commons.
Join us for our Remnants of Penn Station Tour this weekend and discover our other behind the scenes Untapped Cities tours.