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Ryan McElveen
Suffern, NY

Ryan McElveen

I’m a graduate student in International Affairs at Columbia and have spent most of my life roaming the Northeast corridors of both the U.S. and China.

An ode to Penn Station

Editor's note: The contestants could write on a topic of their choice this afternoon. You can read Ryan McElveen's earlier post here.

This past Monday, a birthday came and went. There were no candles. There was no cake, no ticker-tape parade (unless, of course, you count the toilet paper strewn about the men's restroom floor).

There was little reminiscence of the McKim, Mead and White Beaux-Arts structure that came before; no fond recollections of its 150-foot ceilings supported by Doric columns modeled after the Baths of Caracalla. Not even the unclean catacombs left behind were worth mention.

Instead, Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, David Paterson and Ray LaHood were gathered on the opposite side of 8th Avenue, armed with hammers, ready to revel. They had come to break ground for the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station, a project still years--maybe decades--from completion.

It was an ironic event. Just as Penn Station was destroyed in 1963 to make way for Madison Square Garden, James Farley Post Office--the site of the new station and a grand Beaux-Arts edifice in its own right--will also be transformed.

Much like Robert Moses' urban modernism razed the neoclassical, another nail has been driven in the coffin of the U.S. Postal Service. The art of letters and written correspondence, slowly being consumed by e-mail and text messages, will one day be lost to history.

And no one will bother to commemorate its birth, either.

Read more posts from this round. See what the judges are saying. And cast your vote on Friday.

By Ryan McElveen  |  October 20, 2010; 1:56 PM ET  | Category:  Blogging Challenge
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And this is interesting because....?

Typical New Yorker...thinks the world revolves around New York.

Posted by: JamesBoobson | October 21, 2010 12:18 AM
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Posted by: chucky-el | October 20, 2010 8:21 PM
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glad to hear we're all on the same page, guys.

Posted by: waltersobchak2 | October 20, 2010 8:04 PM
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@MSJS: Yes, you are right.

Posted by: JackRyan82 | October 20, 2010 7:53 PM
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@walter, you won't get a disagreement from me.

Posted by: MsJS | October 20, 2010 6:09 PM
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I actually used to live in NYC and am aware of the project, but was still confused as to what he's talking about. Yes, in a general sense, he's talking about the redevelopment of the old Post Office, but why? It just seems pointless.

Posted by: waltersobchak2 | October 20, 2010 4:25 PM
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A few hyperlinks would go a long way.

Readers outside the NYC area would have little reason to know anything about this project.

Posted by: MsJS | October 20, 2010 3:49 PM
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Huh? What's this? Is this about NYC architecture? Or about the Post Office? What's the point of this again?

Well, at least there's no lame jokes. So that's progress.

Posted by: waltersobchak2 | October 20, 2010 3:26 PM
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