The greatest loss in the heritage history of America was the demolition of Pennsylvania Station in 1964. From the grandeur of the McKim Mead and White original in 1910:
To the bland and squalid replacement in 1963:
But now, with opening in January 2021 of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall, Pennsylvania Station is expanding into the adjacent neoclassical James A. Farley Building, the former main post office. And that looks like this:
Douglas’s work, titled Penn Station’s Half Century, draws on archival research to reconstruct nine remarkable but forgotten moments from the history of the original Pennsylvania Station (1910–1963) that capture the serendipity and poignancy of daily life.
These vivid evocations of the city’s forgotten history include Bert Williams (singer, comedian, and the first African-American to direct a motion picture) instigating an impromptu vaudeville show with fellow performers stranded in the station during an epic snow storm of 1914, the final moments of affection between soldiers and their loved ones before being deployed in 1941 for duty during World War II, and the soundstage from director Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 love story The Clock, staring Judy Garland.
The creation of Douglas’s work – done in Vancouver – is a story in itself, told here in Montecristo:
What an achievement it would be for Vancouver to expand Waterfront Station to the north to include a new suitable transit hub for the many modes of transportation that come together. And to commission Douglas for a suitable expression of our history and culture.