We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The demolition of NYC's majestic old Pennsylvania Station in 1963 prompted movements for historic preservation across the US. Lucky we are that they did not tear down Grand Central (which they wanted to do to replace it with something modern). Still, Penn Station was grander by far.
But like most things "community" based, historic preservation went psycho. Now it is used to preserve the ugly.
Back in the early 2000s, in Silver Spring, MD, it went to the absurd. They were trying to protect the first shopping center with off-street parking because it had some Art Deco facade. Or to use the modern term, the first strip mall.
“One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat”- Vincent Scully, architectural historian, on Penn Station after the demolition and renovation.
I’m too young to remember the godlike entry clearly, but it is now most definitely a cluttered, claustrophobic, rat maze, unworthy of the greatest city in the world. This dump, and that Third world airport named “LaGuardia" are an embarrassment to any traveller from New York. Thank god Jackie Kennedy saved Grand Central Terminal when she did. It’s the finest indoor space in America.
I went through Penn Station in the 70s--feces floating on the floor of the restroom. No one in charge of the station was paying the least attention; apparently it was standard conditions, not some kind of dreadful breakdown. That's my image of New York: incapable of addressing its own problems.
I'm sure that the rebuilding of Penn Station would be a fine project. Especially if paid for by special taxes on everyone (since it's for the "common good"). And of course the bidding process would have to take at least ten years. So we'd have to establish a bidding commission to oversee it, and staff it with experts with six-figure salaries. And of course the actual construction would need to be parceled out to a proper ratio of groups with proper racial makeup, ethnic makeup, sex/sexual orientation, creed, color, and religion. Just to make it fair.
Oh, and maybe someone who knows how to build a building.