About The Eternal Space
On October 28th, 1963 the demolition of New York's Pennsylvania Station begins. The wrecking crews work outside in the morning drizzle to dismantle a fifty-three-year-old architectural marvel. Inside, a construction worker turned photographer is running away from his past while an aging English teacher can't let his go. Their coincidental meeting begins a three-year conversation over the value of old and new, as one man fights to keep the station standing while the other is taking it down. This is the premise for The Eternal Space, a two-man play that charts an unlikely friendship across the social and cultural upheavals of the mid-1960s.
Following two very successful developmental readings in December of 2012 and May of 2013, and the success of a 50th Anniversary Reading panel at the AIANY's Center for Architecture (read more about that below), our show was honored by being chosen by Fordham University's Alumni Company as being part of its New Work's series in June of 2014.
A full production will visually recreate the marvel of the former Pennsylvania Station using the actual photographs that documented the station’s demise. Our production has been very fortunate in uncovering a huge catalogue of demolition photos drawn from the talents of five photographers. Their stills taken from 1963-1967 will be responsible for creating the passage of time and serving as the setting for each of the scenes. Using the latest in projection technology these arresting photographs will speak to the tragic demolition of an American architectural masterpiece.
The Eternal Space, a beautifully simple but unique production, aims to bring the Old Penn Station back to life while giving voice to the quiet lament of losing it half a century ago.
Marking the 50th Anniversary of Penn Station's Demolition
October 28, 2013 marked the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of Penn Station's demolition. Our production team was honored to launch an event in partnership with the Architect Institute of America’s New York Chapter to commemorate the occasion complete with a panel of experts in the field of photography, architecture and NYC history. The event sold out the AIANY’s Center for Architecture’s largest event space and was an enormous success. You can read more about it from Untapped Cities and Smithsonian Magazine's Design Decoded.
The conclusion of that evening was clear: The debates of preservation and loss stirred up 50 years ago are still timely today. In July and August of 2012, The New York Times ran two features on the 1962 protests that later sparked the Landmarks Preservation movement. Fifty years earlier the Times reported:
A building that sometimes made a ceremony out of a journey… reached the end of the line, architecturally at 9 A.M. Electric jackhammers tore at the granite slabs of the side of the terminal…crushing the hopes of a band of architects who had rallied to save what the Municipal Art Society called ‘one of the great monuments of classical America.’
Please follow along with us as our production quickly grows!