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Re: Why NY Penn Station still sucks

Posted by Wallyhorse on Mon Dec 2 11:10:18 2019, in response to Re: Why NY Penn Station still sucks, posted by Joe V on Sun Dec 1 13:14:50 2019.

Yeah, but as I wrote in 2014:

To me, it was a "necessary evil:"

While I would have loved to see it having been saved, you have to keep in mind had it actually been saved back in the 1960's, by the early '70s that incarnation of Penn Station likely would have become very dangerous as with the way that was built, it would have been an invitation for drug dealers and others to hide out at various points of it This would only have gotten worse as the twin recessions of 1969-'70 and '73-'74-'75 caused New York to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy and it likely would not have been able to be properly secured in many places.

Especially by 1986 when we were dealing with a crack cocaine epidemic (that only really hit home to many when Len Bias died two days after he was drafted by the Boston Celtics at #2 overall in the '86 NBA draft from using crack), there would likely have been cries to tear Penn Station down, especially if the old Garden (which was already becoming obsolete by 1968 and if it had not been replaced at that time would have been REALLY obsolete by 1986) had remained on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th, even if it had been renovated a time or two and possibly expanded to go across 50th Street towards 51st by then there likely would have been cries to move MSG to above Penn Station as of course actually happened (ironically, back in '86 there were talks of building a new MSG where the Javits Center is). Had the old Penn Station survived that, by the 1990s it probably would have been renovated the way Grand Central was, but it would have been at best a VERY rocky road to get to that point.

One thing tearing down the old Penn Station did do was spur the development of 1 & 2 Penn Plaza. Without those buildings and the current MSG, I suspect crime in that area would have become MUCH worse than it did become during the 1970s because of all the hiding spots in the old Penn Station.

Also, it has to be noted had the still-current MSG not been built when it was in 1967-'68, Sonny Werblin (who while not Robert Moses had a TON of power with the sports teams in New York in the 1960's, '70s and first part of the '80s) would likely have looked to have built what became (when it actually opened in 1981) The Brendan Byrne Arena (later IZOD Center before it closed) with the rest of The Meadowlands Sports complex in 1976 with the likely intent of moving the Knicks and Rangers to such an arena. THAT would have been considered by many to have been a MUCH bigger crime than tearing down the old Penn Station no matter how much people who don't care about sports want to think otherwise.

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