Pennsylvania Station, also known as Penn Station, is a railroad station located in New York City between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets. It was named for the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), and the project was initiated and lead by Alexander Johnston Cassatt (1839-1906), the seventh president of the PRR. Cassatt's vision was to construct tunnels under the Hudson River, bringing the PRR's line into New York City which enabled Pennsylvania Railroad trains to enter from New Jersey for the first time.
"Beginning with a double-track line across New Jersey's marshy Hackensack Meadows, they would dig two tunnels through Bergen Cliffs, continue down under the mile-wide Hudson, emerging deep underneath a great terminal. From there two tunnels, each with two tracks, would continue under and through Manhattan, becoming four separate tunnels under the East River. Two would be for the LIRR (Long Island Railroad), and would thus create a through ride all the way from the mainland to Long Island. The two other tunnels would serve the PRR, whose empty trains would terminate in Sunnyside, Queens." (Jonnes, page 84)
Construction of the tunnels began in 1904 and opened for service in 1910. The architects of the station building were McKim, Mead & White. The station's building was demolished (1963-1966) and Madison Square Gardens was built above the station, opening in 1968.
"Completion of the Pennsylvania Railroad Tunnels and Terminal Station,"
, Vol. 102, No. 20 (May 14, 1910), pp. 398-401.
Historic American Buildings Survey, Engineering Record, Landscapes Survey, (HABS) No. NY-5471, "Pennsylvania Station," 1968.
Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels
. New York: Viking Penguin Group, 2007.