Apple Store Grand Central: Take the iTrain!

Train snobs and tech snobs, unite! Cult of Mac and the New York Observer report that Apple is planning to build the

world’s largest Apple Store

inside Grand Central Termina

l. Somehow, the upscale futuro-consumer company would carve out more than 16,000 square feet from the upscale retro-commuter station.

In New York’s transportation-architectural mythology, Grand Central is upheld as the

elegant, dignified counterpart

to the soulless, crass, shopping-mall-in-a-bunker atmosphere of the city’s bigger, more effective rail hub,

Penn Station

. Penn Station suffers, in the general estimation, because it is an ugly modern replacement for the majestic, economically failed station of the same name, the demolition of which was a great civic crime, a rallying point for the preservation movement, etc., etc.

Really, if the old Penn Station had not been knocked down, at best it would have ended up annoyingly subdivided into a mall, like Union Station in Washington D.C., because that is the only thing that America can think of to do with its vast public spaces anymore. Let the Market leverage them into a source of private revenue. Hence the plan to use the spaciousness of Grand Central as a foyer for an Apple Store.

Enjoy the shopping, Metro North riders! At least the half-buried Kmart in Penn Station doesn’t think it’s being classy.