Saving (at least some of) America’s Treasures
When the Hotel Pennsylvania opened in 1916, it was the world’s largest hotel, a stately complement to the grand Pennsylvania Railroad Station across Seventh Avenue. Its guests enjoyed a rooftop restaurant, Turkish baths, and Roman decorative flourishes. Now, close to a century later, it merely lingers while the building’s owners make plans to replace it with a controversial skyscraper.
Hotel Pennsylvania, 1919. PR 042, McKim, Mead & White Architectural Record Collection
McKim, Mead and White, the firm that built the hotel, along with the original Penn Station, had a leading role in introducing Beaux-Arts architecture to American cities and towns. By the time it started work on the hotel, McKim, Mead and White had already made its mark throughout the country with buildings that gave the Gilded Age a classical and ornate setting.
Penn Station, howeve