In 1879, the Madison Square Garden Center on Madison Avenue, corner with 26th Street opened for the first time as an open arena. Its first tenant was P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Baily circus. The use of the building was limited due to changing weather conditions and was demolished in 1890, giving way to a new enclosed Madison Square Garden in the Beaux-Arts style and that included a replica of the “Giralda” of the Cathedral of Seville.
Later, in 1925, a new Madison Square Garden was built on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th streets. The boxing promoter Tex Rickard was responsible for the construction of this new structure, initially for boxing events.
The Madison Square Garden that we know today, opened in 1968. This time the structure is built on the railway station of Penn Station, located between the 7th and 8th avenues and the 31st and 33rd streets. This construction caused much controversy, since the old structure of the station was demolished to raise the first building over an active railway line. As a consequence, the City of New York constituted the Commission for the Conservation of Historic Buildings.
The “Garden” as it is commonly called, has served as the setting for various events. It is home to sports teams such as The Knicks (basketball) and the Rangers (Ice Hockey). The Arena has hosted Popes (John Paul II 1979 and Francisco 2015), President Kennedy, where Marilyn Monroe offered her famous serenade to the President, Circuses and musical concerts.
In 2014 the first musical franchise in the arena begins with the singer-songwriter from New York, Billy Joel. It is the show # 62 and presentation # 108 of Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden, the main reason for visiting New York. A memorable concert which included Billy Joel’s greatest hits. As an added bonus we enjoyed the surprise guest appearance of the legendary John Fogerty of the rock band of the 1960s and 1970s, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
A musical show with a fascinating light show and first-class technology. Definitely, there is no doubt that Billy Joel deserves to be in the “most famous Arena in the world”.