New York looks for architect to design new $7B Penn Station

June 9, 2022

All renderings courtesy of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

The plan to modernize Penn Station has officially entered the design phase. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced the state is now requesting proposals from architecture and engineering firms to redevelop the dark and crowded Midtown transit hub into a light-filled train station “worthy of being the epicenter of the most vibrant city on the planet,” according to the governor. Proposals are due July 28 and a winning bid could be selected by late summer or early fall.

Hochul, the MTA, and Amtrak will be looking for a design that transforms Penn Station into a single-level train hall that doubles the amount of square footage for passengers, has higher ceilings, and adds a 450-foot long train hall that would be larger than the halls of Grand Central and Moynihan combined.

The design would also include a skylight in the atrium to remind you, “yes, the heavens are out there still, despite the feeling that you may be living in hell,” as the governor described.

First unveiled in November as a scaled-down version of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan, Hochul’s proposal also adds eight acres of public space, including a 30,000-square-foot plaza, and expands underground corridors to subways on Sixth Avenue, which would connect commuters at Herald Square to Penn Station.

The reconstruction of the station, the busiest in North America, is expected to cost between $6 and $7 billion dollars and take five to six years to complete. As Politico reported this week, the estimated cost includes an “undisclosed amount of funding” to build a new facility for Madison Square Garden, which sits above Penn Station.

“The transformation of Penn Station into a world-class, commuter-focused transportation facility befitting the central hub of the greatest city in the world cannot come soon enough,” Hochul said in a statement.

“We have shared a vision of a single-level unified station with soaring ceilings that welcome natural light, clear, intuitive sightlines, more circulation space and more connectivity to streets and platforms. With this announcement, the MTA is taking a concrete step toward making that vision a reality.”

The redevelopment plan also includes 10 new towers with office and retail space surrounding the transit hub, along with 1,800 new residential units, of which 540 of them would be permanently affordable housing.

As 6sqft previously reported, Hochul also wants to rename the station. “I believe that a new station for New York should be named for a New Yorker or something to do with how iconic New York State is and how amazing it is,” the governor said in November.

The original Pennsylvania Station, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by McKim, Mead, & White in 1910, had a facade of huge Corinthian columns and a waiting room with soaring ceilings and a steel and glass roof. The original building was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with today’s dark and overcrowded maze of a station.


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