The Rise & Fall of Penn Station DVD (2014) 5 of 5 (1)
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished an enormous engineering feat knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States by building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and eventually to New England. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station.
Designed by renowned architect Charles McKim, and inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla, Pennsylvania Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world.
But just 53 years after the station's opening, the unthinkable happened. What was supposed to herald and represent the American Empire was slated to be destroyed. The financially strapped Pennsylvania Railroad announced it would tear down what had once been its crowning jewel to build Madison Square Garden. It took three years to dismantle Alexander Cassatt's monumental station. In the wake of destruction, New York City established the Landmarks Preservation Commission, sparing Grand Central Terminal a similar fate.
Approximately 60 minutes. Widescreen. 5.1 Surround Sound. Region 1. CC - English.
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|Runtime:||1 Hour, 00 Mins|
|Aspect Ratio:||Wide Screen|
|Region Code:||1 US & Canada NTSC|
Sam (New York, NY) on 2014-02-21 20:17:54.
People who found this review helpful: 11
Wow! Having lived on Long Island in New York for 20 years, I was accustomed to taking the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station several times a week. At that time I knew nothing about the original Penn Station. All it was to me was a brightly lit, long, tunnel-like corridor with pizza places and other fast food stores built in. When I stumbled across pictures of the old Penn, I couldn't believe it. I felt like this was one of the worst tragedies in American architecture. When I learned the full story that this magnificent structure came down in the 1960's it was even harder to understand. I was mad at my fellow New Yorker's, I was mad at Madison Square Garden, I was made at the new Penn Station. It was so sad to me that I didn't want to know any more.
Then came this program on PBS. I was hesitant to watch it. But I'm so glad I did! This is just a breathtaking story from beginning to end of Penn Station. And as hard as it is to believe, I didn't feel as bad as I originally did about its demise for reasons outlined towards the end of the program.
It doesn't matter if you're not from New York, or not from the United States. If you have any interest in historical buildings, and especially historic train stations, you should watch this. Extremely well done!
Additional remarks by Sam:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!
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