Planes Trains and Automobiles

History in the making 2/18: Pennsylvania Station edition

Aging beauty: The entrance of Penn Station, photographed by James Burke in 1957 for Life Magazine.

— Tonight on PBS’s American Experience: The Rise and Fall of Penn Station, the story of McKim, Mead and White’s Midtown masterpiece and how its tragic demolition in the 1960s forced New Yorkers to consider the importance of historic preservation.  [American Experience]

Barry Popik brings up an interesting anniversary — John J Fitz Gerald’s newspaper column “Around the Big Apple” began 90 years ago this week.  Fitz Gerald helped popularize New York’s nickname ‘the Big Apple’.  Read more at Popik’s excellent and exhaustive site of urban etymology: [Barry Popik]

— The secret at 58 Joralemon Street:  The Brooklyn Heights tunnel disaster that forever changed how the city handled destructive construction work.  [Brownstoner]

Ghost signage: The remnants of former businesses are all around us, their old signs living long past the establishments themselves.  Photographer Gary Fonville has found some beautiful examples all through the five boroughs, some of which you’ve probably walked by a thousands times without noticing! [Forgotten New York]

East Village monsters: What are those things guarding this home on St. Marks Place? [Ephemeral New York]

The Velvet Caps, the Scalpeens and the Jackson Hollow Gang: A fascinating rundown of the oddly named ruffians that ruled the streets of Brooklyn, most in the years before Consolidation. [artofneed]

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