New York’s Penn Station: The Rise and Fall of an American Landmark

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Venue:Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Presentation by author Paul Kaplan

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Inspired by Rome’s Baths of Caracalla and the Gare d’Orsay in Paris, New York’s Penn Station was widely known as one of the most beautiful stations in the world at its opening in 1910. After decades of looking for a way to connect passengers directly to Manhattan, the Pennsylvania Railway accomplished what few had imagined: building tunnels underneath the Hudson and East rivers. This book chronicles the story of Penn Station from the laying of the first tracks to its demise in the early 20th century when it was torn down. Through its destruction, the historic preservation movement was born. This book uses original interviews with experts, archival research, book & documentary research, and historic photos, bringing new life to one of America’s most beloved buildings.

The book talk highlights the unlikely story of the building of what was once one of the most beautiful stations in the world. It was a station "built for the ages" --but to last only 52 years. The talk displays photos of the original Penn Station as well as of its planners and architects. Kaplan will link the preservation movement that emerged to modern day efforts like the activism to savor Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach in the past few decades and to Jewish rail travel.

Kaplan will also present an abbreviated version of his talk of Jewish South Florida outlining some of the key history, places, and anecdotes.

Program is FREE with Museum Admission

About the Author

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Paul Kaplan writes under 3 series: Cultural Guides, Social History & Biographies, and Business Marketing. He has been featured on the front page of New York Press, the long-running radio show America's Dining & Travel, the iconic African-American newspaper Amsterdam New York and Princeton Magazine.

He has an article in Reader's Digest's Reminisce magazine (He also has helped produce and been interviewed on Let's Travel, a radio show on public radio. He has spoken at prestigious venues including the Museum at Eldridge Street, the New York Public Library, New York University, as well as at a score of private, paid speaking events. He has also produced documentary screenings and discussions with directors.

He earned a BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale College and an MBA from Yale School of Management. He enjoys traveling, having visited six continents and 46 states. Kaplan has worked in Marketing for over 15 years focused on content marketing/thought leadership, digital media and product strategy for publishing, financial and technology companies including Reader’s Digest, Barnes & Noble, American Express, McGraw-Hill, and Broadridge Financial Solutions.