A large color promotional print of Pennsylvania Station in New York City dated 1910, the year it was built and open. The architecture, considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style, was designed by the architects McKim, Mead and White. The view was published as a print under the copyright of the Pennsylvania Railroad, presumably to promote the magnificent new structure. The highly detailed bird's-eye view is signed in the print matrix by Hughson Hawley, the foremost American architectural illustrator of the late 19th and early 20th century. McKim, Mead & White was among the many architectural firms who commissioned drawings from Hawley during his career (Parks, p. 9).
The view shows the station in the foreground with the East River and Long Island (Brooklyn and Queens) stretching into the distance. Minute details are included down to the steam coming from rooftop vents and people and vehicles in the streets. A small inset view of the façade of the train station is included near the lower left margin and as a numbered key to the major buildings encompassed by the main view is included near the lower right margin. The publisher, Ketterlinus, was known for high quality lithography for the business market. This print is apparently rare; the only recorded publicly owned example is at the Library of Congress (see References below).
Pennsylvania Station was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad as its New York City terminal and opened to great fanfare as a major civic building and gateway to the city in 1910. Befitting such an important project, the leading American architectural firm at the time, McKim, Mead & White, was selected to design it. The grand Beaux-Arts structure featured bold engineering, steel vaults and glass. The imposing facade, featured in one of the inset illustrations on this print, included a row of cut stone columns over steel supports. The station was universally praised by the architectural press for its beauty, function, modern design and monumentality. However, just 53 years later, the railroad decided to sell the development rights on the site, demolish the building and replace it with the current complex, which moved the rail station underground and placed the Madison Square Garden arena on top (the Garden was moved from its location several blocks away). "These plans prompted tremendous public and editorial outcry on a scale never before seen, thus beginning the historic-preservation movement in New York City. Although in 1963 the city had no authority to intervene, and Penn Station was indeed demolished as planned, Mayor Robert Wagner in 1965 signed New York City’s Landmarks Law, establishing the Landmarks Preservation Commission" (Plosky). The current Penn Station opened in 1968, but the controversy has not ended -- debate on the site's future has been revived because the lease to operate Madison Square Garden expired in January 2013. New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman joined with the Municipal Art Society and other planners to argue that this presents an opportunity to rethink what he refers to as "the disaster of Penn Station." The offered view remains an important historical and architectural record of the station in all its splendor upon its completion in 1910.
Hughson Hawley, a British architectural renderer, enjoyed a 50-year career in New York City. He began as a theatrical set painter in his native England, moving to New York City in 1879 to paint scenery at the Madison Square Theater at the invitation of the owner. With the encouragement of two architects, Hawley opened an architectural rendering studio the following year. Architects use drawings of proposed buildings to persuade prospective clients, but Hawley’s artistic and architectural skills were so extraordinary that his drawings were frequently reproduced as lithographs, advertisements, brochures and letterheads to promote the completed buildings, and his influential style was often imitated by others. In addition to working for architects, Hawley created illustrations for publications such as Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Century and exhibited at the American Watercolor Society and on a regular basis at the Architectural League. He retired to England in 1931 and spent the remainder of his life there.
Ketterlinus Printing House was a lithography printing firm founded in Philadelphia in 1842 by Eugene Ketterlinus (1824-1886) and his brother Paul (1820-1894). It specialized in "fancy printing" -- embossed and gilt product labels, circulars, catalogues, and advertising show cards. During the 19th century, Ketterlinus was considered the nation's leading label printer, producing work of the highest quality. John Louis Ketterlinus (1852-1932) succeeded his father and uncle in 1876 and continued to modernize and expand the business, which became known as Ketterlinus Lithographic Manufacturing Company in 1896. He retired as president in the early 1920s; the company remained in business until around 1970.
Full publication information: Copyright 1910 Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, two small punctures restored, and relaid on linen as had been originally issued.
"Advertisements from Rae's Philadelphia." Rae's Philadelphia Pictorial Directory & Panoramic Advertiser. Philadelphia: Julio Rae, 1851. Online at: The Library Company of Philadelphia Digital Collections. 2012. http://lcpdams.librarycompany.org:8881/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=123517&local_base=GEN01 (18 April 2013).
"Ketterlinus, J.L. (John Louis)." The Library Company of Philadelphia Digital Collections. 2012. http://lcpdams.librarycompany.org:8881/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=79396&local_base=GEN01 (18 April 2013).
Parks, Janet, Rob Del Bagno and Frederic A. Sharf. New York on the Rise: Architectural Renderings by Hughson Hawley, 1880-1931. New York: Museum of the City of New York, 1998. pp. 7-9, 16, 39, 44-45, 50-62 (original rendering listed on p. 61).
"Pennsylvania Railroad Station." American Memory: Library of Congress. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3804n.ct002194 (19 April 2013).
Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931 pp. 250.
Piola, Erika. Philadelphia on Stone: Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia, 1828-1878. Penn State Press, 2012. p. 230. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=kiNjOAJjUUcC&pg=PA230 (18 April 2013).
Sharf, Frederic A. “Discovering Hughson Hawley.” Museum of the City of New York. http://www.mcny.org/Exhibitions/Hawley/hawley3.htm (3 November 2004).