railroad

Pennsylvania Station, Prior to Opening, 1910

Pennsylvania Station, Prior to Opening, 1910

In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, or Penn Station, opened to the public. The building, which was torn down in 1963 prompting the creation of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission, had been designed by the famed architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White in the Beaux-Arts style. The interior concourse, which you see in this black and white photograph taken just prior to the station's completion in 1910, was inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla.

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New York Central Railroad Train on Eleventh Avenue, 1929

New York Central Railroad Train on Eleventh Avenue, 1929

Before the West Side Improvement Project created the High Line, trains ran down Tenth and Eleventh Avenue. Here a New York Central Freight Train heads south on Eleventh. A flagman, or West Side Cowboy, should be preceding the train, but in this shot is out of the frame. The train is passing the George Kern building. Kern was a packing, wholesale, and retail distributor of pork and beef products, which was bought by Adolf Gobel, Inc., in 1927 for $10 million.

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Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 1908

Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 1908

In this black and white photo from the spring of 1908, we look east beneath the Fulton Avenue Elevated Railroad at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue. Passengers wait to board several streetcars. Men are engaged in construction.

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Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

The great Pennsylvania Railroad station was thirty years old at the time of this photograph, and it had yet to see its greatest traffic. Passenger volume would reach its peak during the war years. Rail travel would diminish in the years following the war as other modes of transportation, most notably air travel, gained popularity. By the 1950s, Penn Station would no longer be profitable, and the Pennsylvania Railroad would sell its air rights as means of offsetting the cost of operating the station. This would result in the eventual demolition of station.

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Grand Central Depot, 1885

Grand Central Depot, 1885

There have been three structures at East 42nd Street and Park Avenue, bearing the name Grand Central. In this black and white photograph taken about 1885, we see the first one, Grand Central Depot. This station, which opened in 1871, brought the lines of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, the New York and Harlem River Railroad, and the New York and New Haven Railroad together under one roof. In this view, looking north from Vanderbilt Avenue, we see horse-drawn streetcars and carts ambling past.

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Pennsylvania Station, c. 1930

Pennsylvania Station, c. 1930

View of the ticket concourse in Pennsylvania Station, circa 1930.  Light beams shine down from the massive windows above onto silhouetted passengers.  At the time of this photo, Penn Station was still in it's youth.  Unfortunately, its existence was too brief.  This structure was demolished in 1963.

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