New 34th Street station entrance features mosaic depicting clock from old Penn Station

January 27, 2023

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday unveiled new accessibility improvements at Penn Station. In addition to four newly modernized elevators, the new, fully accessible entrance at 7th Avenue and 33rd Street features artwork by Diana Al-Hadid. Measuring nearly 15 feet tall, the glass mosaic, called The Time Telling, was inspired by a photograph of the clock that hung at the entrance of the old Penn Station.

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Al-Hadid’s glass mosaic stands 14 feet and 9 inches tall by 14 feet and one inch wide. The work features a scene of the station viewed from above, with swarms of commuters traveling across the station floor and a large clock hanging above them all. The artwork is inspired by Alfred Eisenstadt’s 1943 photograph of the clock at the original Penn Station.

“In recent years, Diana Al-Hadid has created multiple timepieces. In this new mosaic she references one forever connected with the memory of the original Pennsylvania Station,” Sandra Bloodworth, MTA Arts & Design Director, said.

“Al-Hadid’s work blurs the boundaries between figuration and abstraction, creating a scene that feels drawn from our collective memories of this historic space, real or imagined. The line work is fluid, not fixed. It invites viewers to travel into a moment in time.”

The new fare control area will provide better access to the subway from 33rd Street and 7th Avenue and keep commuters updated on train statuses through new information screens. The project also includes the replacement of five platforms stairs leading to the Long Island Rail Road, and improvements to the station’s lighting, circulation, and wayfinding.

The new elevators feature an Emergency Elevator Two-Way Communications System, which allows for better communication between passengers and rescue workers in the case of an emergency.

“Accessibility is such an integral part of mass transit, and these improvements will increase reliability for thousands of riders,” Richard Davey, NYC Transit President, said. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to inclusive public transit and expanding accessibility throughout the region.”

In June 2022, the MTA made a pledge to make 95 percent of all NYC subway stations fully accessible by 2055. At the time of the pledge, only 27 percent of the NYC subway system was ADA-accessible.


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