As I was searching for the original photo of old Penn Station hanging at the existing Penn Station, shown by Max Page at the Providence Preservation Society’s symposium on Friday, I stumbled across this hilarious cartoon on batmangotham city.net. It is from Chip Kidd’s graphic novel Batman: Death by Design, in which Batman plans to demolish Penn Station so he can build an auxiliary Batcave beneath a new terminal designed to resemble a whale. Read the dialogue bubble. It sounds just like the hogwash of a modernist architect’s presentation to a client. Very funny, if not downright poignant.
I am reading the post about Kidd’s take on Penn Station and here is a quotation where he describes his experience of the existing station:
[A]s somebody who takes Amtrak a lot, I’m always in and out of Penn Station and it’s an absolute travesty. Basically – for one of the most active travel hubs on the east coast of the United States – it’s more or less is a fluorescent-lit airless basement below Madison Square Garden, and it’s just horrible. And almost as a cruel joke, when you’re down there, up on the grimy tiled walls they have these pictures of the old Penn Station – this big, glorious space. They’re hanging around on the walls practically mocking you with how beautiful it used to be, as opposed to how shitty it is now.
I wonder whether he realizes there’s a serious and realistic proposal by architect Richard Cameron to rebuild the old Penn Station.
Don’t know whether Batman actually does demolish Penn Station in the novel. I am just now reading the post. I did not even come up with the photo Max Page showed, but I did find one like it at a website called The Still Room, way down in my Google search. It is below: