Amtrak Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Baltimore Penn Station

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17th Sep 2011
Amtrak Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Baltimore Penn Station

Amtrak celebrates the 100th anniversary of Baltimore Penn Station with a ceremony and a public display of rare photo imagery, artifacts and other items commemorating the station’s deep and rich history.
“This is an exciting year for Amtrak as we celebrate two important milestones, 40 years of service as the nation’s intercity rail operator and 100 years of the historic Baltimore Penn Station,” said Joe McHugh, Amtrak Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications. “Penn Station serves as a major transportation hub in Baltimore providing area residents with access to the Northeast Corridor and our entire national system. I am proud of Amtrak’s role in the stewardship of this great station and the impact it has had on the city.”
“Amtrak’s Penn Station in Baltimore stands, after 100 years, a busy portal to a city where railroading was born,” said Courtney Wilson, Executive Director, B&O Railroad Museum.
On September 14, 1911, Baltimore Penn Station opened its doors for business. The Beaux Arts style building designed by Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison played a key role in emphasizing Baltimore’s importance as a dominant rail hub.
On April 1, 1976 as part of the reorganization of the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak took over ownership of Penn Station. Since then, Amtrak has worked to maintain the station’s historic charm. In the early 1980s, under the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project, many of the station’s historic details were refurbished including one of the station’s most magnificent features – the stained glass ceiling in the main entrance area. The ceiling had been painted black during World War II because of the threat of bombing. During the 1990s, the current plaza and below ground parking garage were constructed in front of the station.

Most recently, with funds granted to the Maryland Transit Administration under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, three major projects were undertaken at the station. Work was done to install a new fire protection system, improve the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, as well as refurbish the century old windows throughout the building.
“For 100 years, Penn Station has been a Baltimore landmark with a rich history and an exciting future,” Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said. “As a frequent Penn Station patron, I witness firsthand the quality, convenient transit provided at Penn Station to more than 2 million passengers each year. Moreover, Penn Station is evolving into a critical economic hub, job source for the local community and true destination in and of itself. Congratulations to the entire Penn Station and Amtrak family on this historic occasion.”
“We are all proud that Penn Station has welcomed visitors to our great city of Baltimore for 100 years,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “I look forward to working with Amtrak, and my colleagues at the federal, state and local levels of government, to secure Penn Station’s status as a regional transportation hub and commercial development center well into the future.”
“Penn Station is a critical link in the MARC Train Service,” said Simon Taylor Deputy Administrator & Chief Administrative Officer Maryland Transit Administration. . “Over 2,600 passengers board at Penn Station every day. In addition to its historical significance, the station’s downtown location helps foster smart growth and green living and has become the centerpiece of a revitalized North Charles Street. The MTA is proud to join Amtrak in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Penn Station and looks forward to the next hundred years.”
Today, Penn Station continues to serve as a major transportation hub and a catalyst for economic growth and revitalization in Baltimore. Plans are underway to increase that station’s role as an economic hub given its close proximity to Baltimore’s business district and scenic Inner Harbor area. Amtrak is currently working to select a developer who will develop a surface parking lot adjacent to the station into a transportation-oriented development that would include residential, office, retail, parking and outdoor space.


City.Mobi

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