See the Proposed Designs for NYC’s Gorgeous New Penn Station
Travel| | By Brian Delpozo
After 25 years of false starts and public battles, New York City will be getting a new Penn Station in 2020 if all goes according to plan. The $1.6 billion project, funding of which would be split between retail developers, Amtrak, LIRR, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, and the federal government, was formally announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a Wednesday press conference.
The idea calls for the James A. Farley building, located on 8th Avenue across the street from the current station, to be turned into the 250,000 square-foot Moynihan Train Hall, home to Amtrak and LIRR terminals. Concept art from architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) shows high, arched ceilings featuring skylights as a tribute to the original Penn Station building from the early 20th century. The subway lines that currently run through the complex will be renovated as well, with widened concourses and overhead LED screens depicting a blue sky underground. In addition to the transportation, 700,000 square feet of new retail and office space would be included. The station would also feature modern amenities including Wi-Fi, cellphone charging stations, and train scheduling updates in real time. The renovation can’t come soon enough for many of the 60,000 commuters who use the cramped station daily. “I think anything would be an improvement. It’s horrible. I literally hate coming here. It’s everything that’s bad about the city: It’s too crowded; there’s not enough exits… and it’s ugly,” said Rider Brigit Zahler speaking to New York’s NBC affiliate about the station. The governor himself called the current transit hub “…dirty, it is dingy, it is dark, and that is not what New York is all about,” during the press conference. Despite the announcement, many are wary about whether the new station will actually come to fruition in just four years, especially since various Penn Station rebuilding campaigns have been announced in the past only to fizzle out. For his part, Cuomo stressed that the project’s completion is a necessity, vowing, “This is not a plan—this is what’s going to happen. People are going to walk through this station and recognize that this is New York.” Cuomo went on to say of the new space, “New York’s tomorrow depends on what we do today, and the new Moynihan Train Hall will be a world-class 21st-century transportation hub.”
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