Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

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Postby Mr. Ed » Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:51 am

Hey E-44! Back last century I had a small apartment house not too far from the GE plant on Elmwood Ave, in Philadelphia. I rented an apartment to a young guy that transferred in from Erie. He lasted a month at the apartment. Had something to do with the theft of his motorcycle cover on his bike. I guess he had high expectations! He must have been an engineer because they didn't do any kind of railroad stuff at Elmwood.

So what do you do over at GE?

Later!
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Postby E-44 » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:04 pm

Mr. Ed wrote:Hey E-44! Back last century I had a small apartment house not too far from the GE plant on Elmwood Ave, in Philadelphia. I rented an apartment to a young guy that transferred in from Erie. He lasted a month at the apartment. Had something to do with the theft of his motorcycle cover on his bike. I guess he had high expectations! He must have been an engineer because they didn't do any kind of railroad stuff at Elmwood.

So what do you do over at GE?

Later!
Mr. Ed
:wink:


Mainly try to help them walk that fine, software-controlled line between heavy-fisted hoggers (who think that these 300,000-lb. monsters ought to load up as fast as their pickup trucks), the EPA (who thinks that everyone should just shut up and do 30 mph) and railroad management (who consistently overpromise and underdeliver, blaming the vendors and the unions but never themselves) :wink:

That and trying to remind them now and then that the "E" in GE stands for Electric. You can sometimes get away with telling it like it is when you're a consultant.
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Postby Mr. Ed » Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:49 pm

That fine line is sometimes non-existent! But a consultant does seem to have a little more leeway!

Later and Happy New Year!
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Interesting article

Postby E-44 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:37 pm

More Penn Station archaeology:

1998 New York Times article.

I think the map coordinates they give are off just a little.
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Postby CarterB » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:34 pm

Agreed. Those coordinates are over by the Erie/NYS&W row. (past the power lines, by where the three "tents" are at far end of 16th St.)
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby scopelliti » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:20 am

Here is an interesting website that details where the eagles are today. Sounds like the site owner also runs excursions to the sites... no affiliation, etc. but an interesting read.

http://untappedcities.com/2013/06/27/daily-what-where-are-22-eagles-original-penn-station/
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby carajul » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:58 am

Although its easy to look back and say that Penna Sta demolition was horrible, keep in mind that...

1. The station was private property, owned by Penn Central, and they could do what they wanted with it.
2. The heyday of pax rail travel was over.
3. It was prime NYC real estate and was worth an absolute fortune.
4. Penn Central was hemorrhaging red ink so bad it couldn't even pay the power bill. Sitting on all that $$$ real property was too good to just let slip by. The company needed the cash. By selling the air rights above the station they got much needed cash. I believe it was CEO Stuart Saunders that ordered the demolition. In addition to air rights, Penn Central also got 25% ownership of MSG - a good source of revenue.

One interesting unknown tidbit was that the Penn Central investment subsidiary company called PennCo had ownership % in many NYC landmark buildings. During the PC bankruptcy the court forced PennCo to sell the ownership in order to pay off creditors.
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:01 am

Here is an interesting New York Times editorial from last April:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/opini ... at-50.html

Fair Use:

New York City’s landmarks preservation law turns 50 on Sunday. Any who doubt its continuing significance should head to the West Side of Manhattan, to the building it came too late to save. Pennsylvania Station in 2015 is a monument to civic suffocation, a basement of low, dust-blackened ceilings, confusing corridors, beer-and-popcorn dealers, yowling buskers and trudging commuters.

Only the dented brasswork on some Long Island Rail Road stairways and some old photos in the Amtrak waiting area point to the half-forgotten memory of something far better that used to occupy the space.

The old Penn Station’s destruction, unthinkable until it happened in 1963, galvanized public support for a law to slow the city’s blistering pace of architectural erasure. But even that crime wasn’t enough; it took the demolition in 1965 of the Brokaw houses, a set of grand old mansions on Fifth Avenue at 79th Street, to propel the bill off Mayor Robert Wagner’s desk and into law. It created a preservation commission with teeth, to guard the city’s memory.


Within this following material is included the famous Times editorial "Farewell To Penn Station":

http://hyperallergic.com/63260/rereadin ... al-pieces/

Fair Use:

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 tin-horn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.


For myself, one who actually used "Old Penn" as a paying passenger, I really don't miss it. It was in notable disrepair with walls washed only six feet high, the WWII blackout of the skylights had never been removed, and the Public Address was completely inaudible. The nature and scope of the facility had completely changed from that of the intercity traveler to the commuter; the latter who to be inside of such five minutes is "a long time".
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:24 am

carajul wrote:Although its easy to look back and say that Penna Sta demolition was horrible, keep in mind that...

1. The station was private property, owned by Penn Central, and they could do what they wanted with it.
2. The heyday of pax rail travel was over.
3. It was prime NYC real estate and was worth an absolute fortune.
4. Penn Central was hemorrhaging red ink so bad it couldn't even pay the power bill. Sitting on all that $$$ real property was too good to just let slip by. The company needed the cash. By selling the air rights above the station they got much needed cash. I believe it was CEO Stuart Saunders that ordered the demolition. In addition to air rights, Penn Central also got 25% ownership of MSG - a good source of revenue.

One interesting unknown tidbit was that the Penn Central investment subsidiary company called PennCo had ownership % in many NYC landmark buildings. During the PC bankruptcy the court forced PennCo to sell the ownership in order to pay off creditors.


Carajul:

It was the Pennsylvania Railroad - not Penn Central - that orchestrated the demolition of Penn Station and
its replacement by Madison Square Garden (4) and the One Penn Plaza building next door.

The demolition of Penn Station began in the mid 1960s - 10/29/64 is noted as the ground break date for MSG.

Madison Square Garden opened in February 1968 hosting its first event on the 11th - just days after the
Penn Central merger which commenced on February 1, 1968.

Replying to your points:
1-PRR sold the air rights above Penn Station to make way for the construction of MSG.
2-The 1960s were a time of decline of intercity passenger rail service. US Government funds began to be used
to improve northeast rail services such as the acquisition of the Metroliner MU cars and UA Turbo trains near
the end of the decade. Amtrak was still some years away (5/1/71) from taking on most US intercity rail services.
3-Agreed - the location alone and its transit access made this very valuable.
4-The tax burden alone was enough for the PRR to seek relief of the cost of the Penn Station infrastructure.

In a interesting way "sacrificing" Penn Station spearheaded the rise of landmark preservation and may well have
saved other endangered landmarks - like Grand Central Terminal once was during the 1970s.

I recall reading that Penn Station was just 55 years old when the demolition began and as GBN noticed
that the upkeep in later years was not good and the deterioration was very visible on the building which
was originally designed to last for hundreds of years before major renovations had been necessary.
As mentioned commuters were the prime users of the facilities - they tend to use waiting areas for short
periods differently then intercity travelers would.

To this day the decline of the Standard Railroad of the World as the PRR was known by up into the 1940s into the
1950s and 1960s amazes me. The Penn Central merger as we all realize turned into a financial disaster - one "red
flag" should have been the animosity or dislike between PRR's Stuart Saunders and NYC's Al Perlman at the helm.

The "Wreck of the Penn Central" (a good book read) was not the way any railroad should have been ran...
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penn_Cent ... on_Company

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:31 pm

I think I remember reading at the time (in the New York Times) that PRR had sought some kind of tax abatement from the city, pointing out that the annual tax bill exceeded the entire passenger revenue generated at the station. The reply was that Penn Station was taxed at the same rate as neighboring properties, and if high-rise office buildings are needed to generate that level of income--well, you know what you have to do.

So they did it.

(I've sometimes wondered whether, when the later preservation ordinances took effect, any tax relief was granted for Grand Central.)
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Re:

Postby greenwichlirr » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:42 am

NY&LB wrote:Those light posts and some granite ballasters adorn the front yard of a house on Tinton Avenue in Eatontown (South side of street, just west of rt 35 - opposite west gate of Ft Monmouth). House fornerly belonged to a PRR executive.


Bouncing up a nine-year-old post to show some imagery, and damned if Google Maps can be so helpful at times!

Capture.JPG
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby NY&LB » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:34 pm

Nice! I wish I had thought of that!
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby Marty Feldner » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:43 am

Nice, indeed. Wish I'd known about it back in '68 (if it was there then- I assume yes). Spent nine months at Ft. Monmouth, stationed there in the Army's Signal School, just inside the west gate. About every other weekend I would catch a bus for the city at the gate- about a block away.
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Re: Re:

Postby OportRailfan » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:37 pm

greenwichlirr wrote:
NY&LB wrote:Those light posts and some granite ballasters adorn the front yard of a house on Tinton Avenue in Eatontown (South side of street, just west of rt 35 - opposite west gate of Ft Monmouth). House fornerly belonged to a PRR executive.


Bouncing up a nine-year-old post to show some imagery, and damned if Google Maps can be so helpful at times!

Capture.JPG


I drive past this everyday, and have noticed what nice adornments they are. Figures that they're from old NYPS
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Re: Photo of Penn Station debris dumped in Meadowlands?

Postby joe k » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:09 am

Back in the 1960's employees of the old Morris County Central RR in Whippany "acquired" on of the Penn Station Track Indicators from the landfill ........
Around 15+ years ago Whippany Railway Museum members found (covered in the weeds) the track indicator from the MCCRR days in the Whippany Yard and had it mounted for display.........originally 15 ft tall the indicator was cut in half by scrappers torches during the demolition of Penn Station. There is a photo on the museums web site under "Equipment" and Hutchinson Track Indicator .........www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net

Those who can visit the museum can find it next to the museums ticket office.
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