Figure: Grand Central Station and Penn Station.
On left is Grand Central Station (1913). As part of the construction project (1913), the New York Central Railroad created a planned Terminal City over the covered tracks. The company would sell the air rights to developers who would build offices, hotels and apartment buildings. The Terminal City drew midtown northward during the 1920s. In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) completed its terminal on Seventh Avenue and 32nd Street (right). Unlike the New York Central, the PRR was not interested in engaging in real estate development. The hanging laundry in the right front shows how the surrounding neighborhood was a dense tenement area, and was less amendable to upscale development as compared to the area around Grand Central Station. The terminal’s effect on Manhattan, however, was equally as important, as it drew the garment industry. As railroad travel declined after World War II, the terminal became an aging giant, and was demolished in 1963. The current Madison Square Garden was built over the tracks.