From one who used "Old Penn" on enough occasions to know "which end is up", I have no sobs for that dump being razed. The Waiting Room had become an advertising arcade designed to keep your eyes at eye level lest you note how the walls were cleaned only to where a floor level brush could reach. The Flying Saucer ticket cage must have been a discarded movie set from "The War of the Worlds" and to do business at such was simply "same old" (to those around here who never rode pre-Amtrak, "you don't want to know").
The structure was designed to handle PRR intercity trains and, from a glorified semi-detached Subway station, Long Island RR commuter trains. As the article notes, it handled 200K PAX a day - and most were intercity riders. But with the virtual extinction of off-Corridor intercity trains, the explosion of growth on Long Island, the access first by PRR commuter trains, and followed by some from the D,L&W, it handled 600K riders a day - 95% commuters.
Is the existing facility adequate for this volume of traffic? Of course not. But I really doubt that, had the preservation initiative of the '80's that saved Grand Central, were in place during the '60's and saved the structure, there would still be a rail facility unsuited for the nature and scope of the rail travel it handles today.
Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002
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Well, of course, Penn Station's value was architectural, not utilitarian. I'm sure there were ancient Romans who complained that the waters of the Baths of Caracalla were either too hot or too cold, and they had no place to store their togas properly.
Posts: 1496 | From: Ocala, FL | Registered: Dec 2006
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