Opened to the public in 1910, McKim, Mead & White's Pennsylvania Station gave the traveller, visitor, and commuter alike an experience of grandeur never before seen in the United States. With its dramatic vaulted glass ceiling over its expansive main concourse, Pennsylvania Station was a monument not only to train travel but an architectural icon of New York City and one of the grandest public buildings of the 20th century.
This book is a case study on the preservation of an important work of modern architecture. The story of the Freeman House, and of the attempt to save it, entails almost all of the provocative issues that make historic preservation as a field so fascinating, technologically and theoretically complex, and politically charged.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have been practicing architecture for more than sixty years and are amongst the most well-known architectural firms worldwide. They began to attract attention in the 1950s when they created notable corporate buildings such as Lever House in New York, which continued the Modernist style and in particular that of Mies van Rohe.
Debate and banter between the irascible Philip Johnson and the equally articulate and opinionated Robert A. M. Stern generates a provocative combination of astute commentary and personal observation on the state of architecture in the twentieth century.