Penn Station: Gone but not Forgotten

The old Penn Station in New York was torn down before I was born. Looking at these pictures, that feels like a mistake. The current site is functional, but no more; really just some office towers and underground corridors of no particular interest or beauty. The new Madison Square Garden is an arena, but nothing more. The old Penn Station appears to have been much more beautiful. Whether it could have handled the traffic levels of the 21st century, I don’t know; but I can’t help thinking that we lost something special here. At least we still have Grand Central.

4 Responses to “Penn Station: Gone but not Forgotten”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    You’re darn tootin’ it was a mistake. It was the uproar over the loss of Penn Station that induced the city to establish the Landmarks Preservation Commission to try to prevent that kind of thing from happening again without anyone else getting any input into it.

    Fortunately, the building across the street, the General Post Office, was built by the same folks to the same general style (except for having stairs instead of ramps — old-style train stations don’t have stairs, because of the difficulty in dragging bags up and down them). And it’s totally underutilized as a post office now. The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan pushed for years to get it converted, and the effort goes on in a low-level way: see the Wikipedia article for more information.

  2. Luis Castillo Says:

    I am looking at my English dictionary but I do not understand this darn tootin’. I am guessing tootin is tooting, but then my best outcome is to mend by weaving yarn while making a sound like a horn, but I do not think that is right.

  3. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    You’d have to use a slang dictionary. Equivalents to “darn tootin'” include “damn right” and “damn straight”, both slang themselves.

  4. John Cowan Says:

    “Darn” is a euphemistic form of “damn”, as Rusty implies but doesn’t actually say. “You’re darn tootin'” is a rather old-fashioned expression of emphasis, which I picked on purpose to allude to the days, over forty years ago now, when the original Penn Station was demolished.

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