Typically civic infrastructure is influenced and guided by the architecture that already has a prominence over an area. It’s built to benefit its citizens and, in a way, inspire or to further the city’s growth/ development. Areas like Penn Station and Grand Central reflect New York City’s civic architectural culture and history through their design and their ability to function while being so busy.
Both Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal serve as the city’s connection between several rail lines to go to and from other cities or just within the city. New York City is an incredible busy city, with people constantly on the move and this can easily be seen in the city’s transportation systems. Specifically in Grand Central Terminal, we are able to see a design which considers such congestions and overcrowdedness and successfully offers solutions for it. Due to the fact that the terminal connects several train lines, it also provides several circulation paths to allow for these masses of people to get to and from their destination without such fuss. The design of Grand Central reflects the architectural culture through its use of several architectural styles such as Greek, Roman, Beaux-Arts mixed with an interpretation of it all. All this can be seen throughout the terminal, including at the details of the handrails, the ceiling and the use of chandeliers, statues etc. Moving around the terminal, the most prominent experience you’re met with is the grandness of it all. The height of spaces is bigger than any space one could possibly be used to.
Unlike Grand Central Terminal, the new Penn Station loses the glamour that it previously (old Penn Station) held as it is not aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The new Penn Station is a modernistic approach, with very little consideration for the amount of time a person would be spending inside the station it’s creation seems only to consider the functional aspect of the station. Design wise, it doesn’t implement any of the old architectural styles but instead showcases the city’s own emerging style. Nonetheless, it’s able to fulfill its purpose as successfully as Grand Central Terminal.