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July 17, 2023

Amazing Vintage Photographs of Madison Square Garden Under Construction From the Mid-1960s

Madison Square Garden has been an entertainment institution in New York City since 1879. Since that time, four separate buildings have held the title, including one designed by famous architect Stanford White with a garden rooftop theater (where he eventually met his demise). The Madison Square Garden we know today was built in 1968 on the site of the original Penn Station.

The building housing Madison Square Garden Center was developed on the full block between 31st and 33rd Streets and Seventh and Eighth Avenues and opened on February 11, 1968, over the underground Penn Station.

The original Pennsylvania Station, a majestic building similar to Grand Central Terminal, had been torn down under the excuse of it being too costly to maintain. Its developers were given a complete real estate tax pass by then-Mayor Ed Koch, who later realized the actual legislation had no sunset date, an issue that to this day ruffles city administrations and plagues the Garden ownership.

Garden Center was built around its core moneymakers: the three-ring circus, Rangers ice hockey and Knicks basketball, but has hosted both Democratic and Republican Conventions and other events from monster trucks to bull-riding, show jumping and a youth rally with then-newly elected Pope John Paul II on Oct. 2, 1979.

While the cover of Rolling Stone may be a highlight of a rock act’s career, performing at Madison Square Garden is the pinnacle of worldwide touring. Nearly every popular performer has played the Garden’s stage.

Now, with its modern renovation and technology, the Garden is now poised and ready to continue to host history-making moments well into the future.


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