Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted (Opt-Out)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Kenneth Aslakson


New York City Historical Preservation


This thesis explores the history of New York City’s Historical Preservation movement through the analysis of the original Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal. In the example of the demolition of the old Pennsylvania Station, the loss of the station was caused by a slow-moving government and general public that did not act fast enough to stop the push to redevelop and modernize older structures. With Grand Central Station, the terminal was saved as a result of the recent memory of the destruction of Pennsylvania Station which forced the public and government into action.

By juxtaposing the complex history behind the loss of the original Pennsylvania Station as well as the successful campaign to preserve Grand Central Terminal, despite threats of redevelopment, this thesis proves that New York City and the World needed to lose buildings with rich historical significance, such as the original Pennsylvania Station, in order to recognize the importance of preserving historic structures. As a result of this history, these buildings proved that preservation was a worthy cause which allows for present day conversations about preservation to discuss more complicated topics such as the intersection between historic preservation and gentrification, racism, and sustainability.

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Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.