After Half a Century, a Penn Station Eagle Returns

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Members of Albert Fritsch’s family descended on Grand Central Terminal on Friday to visit a family heirloom (and 45-pound tchotchke) that is now the three-dimensional centerpiece of the exhibition “The Once and Future Pennsylvania Station.”

What’s that you say? Why is their heirloom-tchotchke-lawn ornament on display at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex?

Because theirs is a boldly handsome eagle head by the sculptor Adolph A. Weinman that adorned the cornice of the original Pennsylvania Station. Mr. Fritsch, a mechanic for the Pennsylvania Railroad, salvaged the head in the early 1960s when the station was being demolished and its stonework dumped in New Jersey. He placed it on his canal-side lawn in Freeport, N.Y. After he died in 1992, the head was moved to Poughkeepsie to be kept by his daughters, Mary Fritsch and Margaret Flitsch (she married a man whose last name was only one letter different than her maiden name, thereby confounding generations of bureaucrats)....

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