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'"Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age of Roman elegance."
'"Its destruction left a deep and lasting wound in the architectural consciousness of the city. A famous photograph of a smashed caryatid in the landfill of the New Jersey Meadowlands struck a guilty chord." (Wikipedia)
Inspiring the traveler was important. The reactions of people in Penn Station were worth the enormous amount of time and effort placed into the space. Cultural and artistic expression were clearly strong and valued.
First impressions mattered. Train stations and Airports are places where we welcome people from other countries or cities.
Patty king wrote in a comment a couple of days ago: "I remember a time about 10 years ago when flying was fun and so easy. Will it ever be like that again?"
Perhaps someday we'll remember the art, ambiance and culture that these important spaces brought to us. Perhaps someday we'll once again decide to make our airports and train stations welcoming instead of paranoid, inspiring instead of intimidating, proud instead of afraid. Then flying will be fun again.
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