was of gold plates, and her exposed face, hands, and feet were of ivory; her eyes were made from precious stones. According to the ancient Greek writer Pausanius, her helmet was emblazoned with an image of the Sphinx, and on her breast she wore a head of Medusa carved from ivory. In one hand she held a 6-foot-high (2-meter) statue of Victory and in the other a spear; her shield lay at her feet. Perikles’s political opponents spitefully had Pheidias indicted for stealing some of the materials intended for the statue, and the artist was later forced into exile.

In 404 b.c. dominance in the Aegean passed to Sparta after the twenty-eight-year Peloponnesian War, caused in part by Perikles’ misappropriation of the Delian League’s money. Despite Athens’ brief renaissance in the fourth century, Greece came under Macedonian control in 118 b.c. Rome followed Macedon, and by the end of the fourth century Christianity was established as the state religion. Paganism was moribund, and temples, including the Parthenon (which became the Church of St. Mary), were “recycled.” Pheidias’s wonderful statue was looted and taken to Constantinople. Following the Ottoman invasion of Greece the Parthenon was again converted, this time into use as a mosque. The still intact building was next employed as an ammunition dump during the Turkish-Venetian war. In September 1687 a Venetian cannonball struck the gunpowder, causing an explosion that killed 300 men and reduced the Parthenon to ruins.

The Turks recaptured the Acropolis and following year and began selling antiquities. In 1801 the British ambassador to Turkey, Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, obtained permission to remove “a few blocks of stone with inscriptions and figures,” a euphemism that gave him license to pillage the remaining metopes, the frieze, and what remained of the Parthenon’s pediment sculptures. Fifteen years later, allegedly at a loss, he sold the “Elgin marbles” to the British Museum. In January 1999 a majority of the European Parliament, as part of a growing international campaign, unsuccessfully petitioned the museum to return the fragments to Greece. The debate continues, not without rancor. The Parthenon’s other, more destructive enemy is the atmospheric pollution that plagues Athens. That problem, too, has commanded an urgent international movement to save an outstanding piece of world architecture.

See also

The Acropolis; Erechtheion

Further reading

Boardman, John, and David Finn. 1985. The Parthenon and Its Sculptures. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Carpenter, Rhys. 1970. The Architects of the Parthenon. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

Tournikiotis, Panayotis. 1996. The Parthenon and Its Impact in Modern Times. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Pennsylvania Station

New York City

Pennsylvania Station, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, New York City, represented the high point of railroad architecture. Built from 1904 to 1910 at a cost of $100 million (about $5.6 billion in today’s terms), it was over 30 percent larger than its largest contemporary, Liverpool Street Station in London, England. In its first year of operation 112,000 trains carrying over 10 million passengers passed through Pennsylvania Station. It is not remarkable for its size alone, but also because it epitomized Beaux Arts architecture on the eastern seaboard of the United States just at the time when modernist ideas were challenging it in Europe.

At the end of the nineteenth century, rail transport in the United States was dominated by the rich and powerful Pennsylvania Railroad. It carried more passengers and freight than any other company, servicing about 20,000 stations. It also led in technology, management, and operating practices. But the company had no station in New York; passengers were obliged to reach the metropolis by ferry from the Pennsylvania Railroad terminus in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1899, the railroad’s new president Alexander J. Cassett set about to remedy the situation, and the following year he acquired control of the Long Island Railroad. Direct access to Manhattan was critical, and Cassett planned a terminal there to service both railroads, making use of the tunnel then being built under the East River. Twenty-five acres of real estate, bordered by Seventh and Eighth Avenues and Thirty-first and Thirty-third Streets, was secured at a cost of $10 million. Existing buildings were demolished, and Thirty-second Street from Seventh to Ninth Avenues was closed and incorporated