Events & News

Preservation after the Demolition of Penn Station: A Panel Discussion

November 14, 2013
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Village Community School

The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the demolition of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, a loss that many historians cite as a watershed moment in the history of the City’s modern preservation movement. In honor of this anniversary, the Archive Project and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation cosponsored a panel discussing and analyzing the numerous actions taken to advance some form of landmarks protection that predated this famous loss. Following that theme, “Preservation after the Demolition of Penn Station: A Panel Discussion” was hosted to focus on how the preservation effort in New York has evolved since the demolition of Penn Station. The panel included Franny Eberhart, trustee of the Historic Districts Council, vice-chair of the Historic House Trust, and president of FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, Anthony C. Wood, founder and chair of the Archive Project, and Anthony W. Robins, preservation consultant, writer, lecturer, and tour guide. The panel was moderated by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Much of the panel discussion focused on the rise of neighborhood advocacy organizations and the evolution of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) with a focus on each mayoral administration. Robins, who worked at the LPC for over 20 years, gave fascinating insights into the early workings of the agency, including shifting priorities, the pros and cons of increased design flexibility within historic districts, and how the composition of the departments within the agency has changed. Discussion inevitably turned to the new administration and predictions on how the LPC and the preservation field in New York City might change in the near future.

Village Community School
272-278 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014
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Above: Pennsylvania Station Waiting Room, 1911; Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company Photographs, Hagley Museum and Library