September 2017
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Wanted: Info and Photos of Old Penn Station Remnants

subway stairs looking down

Stone eagles from the original Penn Station surfaced as far away as Kansas City, but most of the building ended up in the Meadowlands. Still, other elements such as staircases (see right), clocks, flooring, etc. survive in the somewhat less dignified environs of the current Penn Station. A few months ago we received a comment:

“Perhaps we should not exclude surviving artifacts within Penn Station proper, including MM&W staircases and enclosures. Several survive to the LI Concourse level and one, 5W, to the main Concourse level. These are all vulnerable to admittedly well-intentioned “upgrades.” Other in-situ items include concealed columns in the LI Ticket Area, glass block floors on the LI Platform landing, and portions of the taxi drives.”

“A large collection of artifacts was identified for relocation in Moynihan Station during the construction documentation by SOM and HHPA in 2001. Are they still all accounted for?”

It’s an excellent point. The Draft Scope for the Moynihan Station project indicates the environmental review will “include an evaluation of the potential significance of the existing buildings on the Penn Station Block and any remaining features (such as stairways) of the original Pennsylvania Station that may be located within the existing Penn Station.”

Earlier, we provided a bit of history on McKim, Mead and White’s Penn Station Service Building, the only remaining above ground structure. We would love some updated photos and descriptions of the other remaining features – to create an inventory of sorts. The photo at right shows the statue of Samuel Rea, Penn RR President from 1913 to 1925, now outside of 2 Penn Plaza. A few years ago the New York Times described a handful of those found by the “ghost hunters” of old Penn Station on tours led by Lorraine B. Diehl and John Turkeli.

Are there more? Have any been lost in recent years? Please send us photos and information.

Read “40 Years After Wreckage, Bits of Old Penn Station,” by Glenn Collins in The New York Times