6. Guastavino Tunnel in Penn Station
Construction through Penn Station has unveiled many parts of the original 1910 structure designed by McKim, Mead, and White. One piece of the original structure that was temporarily visible in 2019 was a passageway from the LIRR concourse to IRT or the 1, 2, and 3 trains as we know them today. The corridor is special because it contains Guastavino tiled arches, once a prevalent architectural feature of the original station. According to Maggie Redfern and John Ochsendorf, authors of A Guide to Guastavino in New York City, this is the last example of Guastavino tile work in the entire station.
Amtrak confirmed that the passageway was the “former 32nd Street connection from the downtown 7th Avenue subway into Penn Station on the B Level.” The photo above was taken from where the tunnel would have connected to the 1/2/3 subway. The hallway entrance has been blocked off since the 1980s and the tunnel is usually dark. It was briefly illuminated so that the MTA can use the tunnel for access during construction, but at our most recent visit to Penn Station, it was completely blocked off.