Ed Driscoll

Lead Us Not Into Penn Station

My dad has always been a pious fellow, but he couldn’t help making that joking riff on the similar sounding line in the Lord’s Prayer from time to time, which I’m sure he heard as a kid, growing up in pre-World War II Yonkers.

It’s a phrase that took on new meaning in 1968, when the current version of Penn Station opened, replacing the magnificent original, which stood from 1910 until the mid-1960s, when it was demolished by a cash-starved Pennsylvania Railroad to build its current subterrainian version, and place the current Madison Square Garden and an office tower on its air rights.

The current Penn Station is a horrible, dank place, the absolute nadir of modernism, and blasphemy to the greatness the name implied for decades. But as I explain in my latest Tech Central Station column, across the street, there is, as George Lucas would say, A New Hope