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 eventually to 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. Inspired by Paris' Gare d'Orsay and the Roman baths of Caracalla, Pennsylvania Station covered nearly eight acres, extended two city blocks, and housed one of the largest public spaces in the world; many of the 100,000 attendees of Penn Station's grand opening proclaimed it to be one of the wonders of the world.
But just 53 years after the station’s opening, what was supposed to last forever, to herald and represent the American Empire, was slated to be destroyed. The financially-strapped Pennsylvania Railroad announced it had sold the air rights above Penn Station, and would tear down what had once been the company's crowning jewel to build Madison Square Garden, a high-rise office building and sports complex.
On the rainy morning of October 28, 1963, the demolition began; it took three years to dismantle the monumental station. The monumental edifice was gone, but the tunnels and the trains remain, serving millions of people every year.
The contradictory history of a dam that became a statement of American power and prestige.
The first around-the-world air race was sponsored to prove that the airplane had a commercial future.
Before World War II, young Chinese Americans defied cultural tradition in San Francisco's Chinatown, previously closed to outsiders.
Bascom Lamar Lunsford and his campaign to preserve mountain music and dance.
The grave truth behind modern forensics was discovered in 1920s New York.
The story of Chicago's dramatic transformation from a swampy frontier town to a massive metropolis in the nineteenth century.
America came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.