Penn palimpsest: History becomes the future

Experts in architecture and planning discuss Penn Station's regional context, history, and future.

May 30, 2018

Recorded on February 23, 2017.

In this video, Tom Wright, president and CEO of the Regional Plan Association—the nation’s oldest independent metropolitan research, planning, and advocacy organization—describes the context for infrastructure and planning relating to Penn Station and Manhattan’s West Side.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of architecture and urbanism practice PAU, then presents research into the station’s history and describes his vision for its replacement.

The two presentations are followed by a discussion with Harry Cobb, founding partner at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Hilary Ballon, a professor of architecture and urban studies.


Eric Sanderson on the ecological history of Manhattan

Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (2009), details the previously rich ecology of Manhattan or Mannahatta, “land of many hills,” and the disruption of natural systems following European settlement in the 17th century as part of The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land conference.

Five Thousand Pound Life Video 2014