111 years ago on November 27th, 1910
The original Penn Station opens to the public, with an estimated 100,000 visitors on the first day
The city operated a bit differently in those days, with the New York Times noting the increase in pedestrians on a Sunday in the "usually very quiet" area in Midtown between Penn Station and Times Square, and that the crowds were "impressed with the lack of confusion" at Penn Station on opening day. One aspect of the opening day report did seem all too familiar: The new station caused a notable increase in subway passengers at both the Times Square and 33rd Street stations, causing passengers to question why there had not been extra capacity added to the Seventh Avenue cross-town trolley.
The increase in train traffic also relocated a large number of support personnel to the city, with many settling in southeast Queens near the newly-constructed Sunnyside train yards. This increased the population of Long Island City by at least 2,000.
The original above-ground structure of Penn Station would remain until 1963, when it had fallen into disrepair and was torn down and replaced with Madison Square Garden. It was the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, formed as a result of the demolition, that would save Grand Central Terminal from a similar fate just two years later. In an effort to recreate the splendor of the original Penn Station, Amtrak is redeveloping a part of the nearby post office into Moynihan Station, an open-air train station that will have a skylight nearly the size of Grand Central Terminal's main ceiling. The new construction will service Amtrak and LIRR customers and is expected to be completed in 2021.