American Experience (1988– )
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The Rise and Fall of Penn Station 

The Rise and Fall of Penn Station Poster
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0:30 | Trailer
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Randall MacLowry

Writers:

Jill Jonnes (original book), Jill Jonnes | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Jill Jonnes Jill Jonnes ... Herself
Michael Murphy ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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 ... Written by creednek

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Details

Release Date:

18 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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User Reviews

 
Kind of sad.
17 October 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This show is about the monumental creation of Penn Station...the original Penn Station. Today there still is a Penn Station but it's a small and unimpressive space housed beneath Madison Square Gardens. Back in the early 1900s, it was a massive facility created by the Pennsylvania Railroad and which presented HUGE challenges--such as the creation of tunnels under the East River and Hudson River. The difficulty for the so-called 'sand hogs' in building it and the death toll is sad but fascinating. The problems digging these tunnels was similar to difficulties putting in the supports for the Brookly Bridge about half a century earlier--the bends as well as blowouts when the river came pouring into the tunnels. It all makes for an interesting piece but it's also anticlimactic since the station, in its original form, only lasted a few decades. Still, the show is very well made and fascinating.


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