An evening of Arts for Transit and Penn Station on PBSBy
Fire up the old DVRs tonight because Channel 13 has some intriguing content on tap. Starting tonight at 8 p.m., New York’s public television station will be airing two hours of transit-related programming.
First, Treasures of New York heads underground for an hour-long look at Arts for Transit’s popular installations. The documentary is available online if you can’t wait until tonight, and it explores 25 years of Arts for Transit, with interviews with artists Faith Ringgold, Tom Otterness, Milton Glaser, Bill Brand (and his popular Masstransiscope), Andrea Dezsö, and Elizabeth Murray.
After that, take a step back in history while reliving one of the most famous gut-punches New York has ever endured. American Experience is debuting The Rise and Fall of Penn Station tonight at 9 p.m. Here’s the blurb:
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City’s Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United States. The tunnels terminated in what was one of the greatest architectural achievements of its time, Pennsylvania Station. Penn Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world. But just 53 years after the station’s opening, the monumental building that was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed.
We’re still living with the decision to destroy old Penn Station, and architects and transit advocates are forever fighting over the future of the rail station that currently carries the lost structure’s name. Tonight’s show provides a great opportunity to appreciate the grandeur of old Penn Station and mourn what we lost amidst the wrecking ball. If anything, it’s a welcome break from wall-to-wall Olympics broadcasts.