In June 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $1.6 billion project to transform New York City’s much-maligned Penn Station in hopes of restoring it to its former glory. The original structure — an iconic example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style — was destroyed in 1963 and replaced by a bleak, underground network of tunnels and walkways.
“One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat,” architectural historian Vincent Scully Jr. lamented.
If there’s a silver lining, the 1963 demolition did spur the formation of the New York City Landmarks Commission in 1965 and the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Unfortunately, all cannot be salvaged.
Preservation efforts must be galvanized; they require mobilization, time and resources. We reached out to five architecture professors and posed the following question: What’s one American structure you wish had been saved?