Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

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Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby Septafan » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:53 am

In my life, I got to the Old Pennsylvania Station only once, during the 1964/54 World’s Fair at Flushing, we changed trains from Philly to the LIRR.The teardown had already been well underway and I was quite young. I am interested in knowing if the teardown/rebuild reconfigured or changed the layout of the lower (arrivals) level of the station. It is hard for me to relate the current configuration against some surviving photos. Are there any open source photos or, even better, clear floor plans?
I apologize for the multiple posting. Forum moderators can and should exercise their authority and discretion and delete this or relocate this to the proper forum.
Thank you
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Re: Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:34 pm

I apologize for the multiple posting. Forum moderators can and should exercise their authority and discretion and delete this or relocate this to the proper forum.


No worries; what I did was approve it in Pennsylvania Railroad, move it to Long Island, and then park it in Amtrak. There will be shadow topics in the two former forums, and an active topic in Amtrak.
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:10 pm

I'm certain that others can provide more or better information than this, but I do have some memories of the place and of plans and photos that I viewed over the years.

When Penn Station was built, there was a large opening in the upper floor that looked down to the lower level. You can see this in many old photos of the concourse. Only small parts of the lower level had low ceilings. Those were the exit concourse near 8th Avenue and the Suburban Concourse where the LIRR ticket offices are located. Above the LIRR concourse and ticket offices were the Grayhound Bus terminal and the Penn Station Taxi Ramp, both of which are long gone. Sometime around WWII, the floor of the main concourse was expanded to cover all of the lower level, with glass vaults set in the concrete to permit light to enter the lower level. Many of these glass blocks are still visible below.
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Re: Penn Station Lower Level

Postby timz » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:40 pm

Suspect they covered the tracks when they added catenary.
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Re: Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:24 am

NY Penn was built with 3rd rail at first,the 11kv,25hz wire was added later by the Pennsy,the floor was added later
believe around WW II.
That all changed after MSG was built above Penn Station in the 60's. :( :( :(
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Re: Penn Station Lower Level

Postby timz » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:10 pm

Anyone seen a pic taken from the concourse, looking down on a P5 or GG1?
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Re: Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby Septafan » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:36 pm

Many thanks forthe responses. I'm curious about the lower levels because the Main Concourse got most of the attention in photos. However, it appears from some drawings that the baggage room was located on the lower level close to 7th Avenue, further, it was apparently accessible via a carriageway from the street. Where in the new layout would one find the approximate location ? Is any of this left. Lastly, the LI waiting Room purportedly has a remnant of the old entrance, again, where would this appear on an old floor plan, if at all ?
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Re: Old Pennsylvania Station NYC, Lower Level

Postby JamesRR » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:16 pm

The teardown didn't radically change the lower levels. Most of the original brass staircases are still in use, but they've been supplemented by additional stairways that were added.
And the original main concourse floor still exists, glass cubes and all. It's covered by modern flooring material on the main level, and down on the lower level, a drop ceiling (loaded with conduits) hides the glass cubes. In some areas, where the ceiling is missing, you can see the original floor.

I'd have to check my books at home, but I believe the old baggage handling area is currently today's main arcade leading from the bottom of the stairs off the 7th Ave main entrance, leading to the open atrium (just east of the Amtrak waiting room). Many of the old spaces are now shops, or utility areas for the station.
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