joy magnetism: Tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture

Magnet #158 - McKim, Mead and White's Pennsylvania Station - 1910-1964

Yeah, I still haven't figured out how New York actually stood by and let "progress" raze McKim, Mead and White's original Penn Station.

Oh, I know there was a huge fight over it, and that the one good thing that came of it was the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But after looking at these images and these images, I still can't quite believe that this grand old building no longer exists. And, to know that it was replaced with such architectural gems as Penn Plaza and the current (and fourth) iteration of Madison Square Garden? I mean, c'mon!

Anyway, I digress.

I picked today's magnet because, a little late to the game, I just found out that the AIA celebrated its 150th anniversary by showcasing America's favorite architecture - the top 150 buildings, with Penn Station figuring in at #143.

Quite an amazing collection of structures that we have here in the States. At least...when we allow them to stay up.*
"Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."

- "Farewell to Penn Station," New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963

*stinkeye to the idiots who killed Penn Station.
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