In 1962 plans were revealed to demolish the terminal and build entertainment venue Madison Square Garden on top of it. The new train station would be entirely underground and boast amenities such as air-conditioning and fluorescent lighting.
Vocal backlash and protests ensued, but the plan moved forward and Penn Station was demolished.
The outrage was a major catalyst for the architectural preservation movement in the United States. In 1965, the New York Landmarks Law was passed, which helped save the iconic Grand Central Terminal and more than 30,000 other buildings from similar fates. 2015 marks its 50th anniversary.
Since the demolition of the old Penn Station, train ridership has grown tenfold. The new station, a tangle of subway lines and commuter rail, is the busiest terminal in the country and bursting at the seams. Plans are currently underway to renovate and expand the station, and restore a modicum of its original glory.