POLL: Which Penn Station scheme do you prefer, Governor Cuomo’s or Vishaan Chakrabarti’s?

October 5, 2016

When Governor Cuomo revealed his plans for a new Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex early last week, things seemed to be moving full steam towards a 2020 completion date thanks to flashy renderings and the selection of a high-profile developer-builder team. But architect Vishaan Chakrabarti was not convinced, and he and his firm the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism decided to create their own vision, one that repurposes Madison Square Garden, a facet of the plan he feels Cuomo failed to address.

Moynihan Train Hall, Empire State Development Corporation, Amtrak, MTA, ANDREW CUOMO, EMPIRE STATION COMPLEX, JAMES A. FARLEY POST OFFICE, MOYNIHAN STATION, PENN STATION, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, SOM, McKim, Mead & White, Madison Square Garden

Cuomo’s scheme creates a new 255,000-square-foot train hall in McKim, Mead & White’s 1913 Beaux-Arts James A. Farley Post Office. To be known as Moynihan Train Hall, it will serve Amtrak and the LIRR and have plenty of retail and office space. The plan also calls for a revamp of the existing Penn Station’s 33rd Street LIRR concourse and a renovation of both Penn Station subway stations.


Chakrabarti’s proposal would repurpose Madison Square Garden into a new, main train hall and move the arena to the Farley Post Office. He dismissed a study released earlier this year that said moving MSG could come with a price tag of over $5 billion, noting that his idea is much more practical than having to move the center of the platforms serving the station from beneath the Garden to under Farley, as is the case in Cuomo’s plan.


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