When developers at Brooklyn Capital Partners and designers at AE Superlab revealed their proposal to erect the world’s tallest free-fall ride atop Penn Station, it seemed like perhaps a commentary on Governor Cuomo’s big-ticket overhaul of the station. But in fact, the team hoped their 1,200-foot Halo, as it’s being called, would rise along with the renovations, serving as “an interactive beacon for the city.” As 6sqft reported, “the ride’s 11 cars… could be modified to move as quickly as 100 miles per hour giving it a top-to-base free fall of about six seconds.” A freshly uncovered video shows this in action, and a new project website provides more details on the logistical components, 20-month construction time period, and $130 million in annual projected revenue.
While Governor Cuomo is busy trying to make his plans for $3 billion in renovations at Penn Station a reality, developers are hot to come up with a new design for 2 Penn Plaza, the tower directly above the station and Madison Square Garden. Vornado Realty Trust, who owns roughly nine million square feet around Penn Station including 2 Penn Plaza, released renderings in March for a glassy, wave-like tower by starchitect of the moment Bjarke Ingels. The concept is quite a departure from the current, stale state of the site, but yesterday an even more futuristic idea came to the table. Brooklyn Capital Partners tapped AE Superlab to create a plan for the world’s tallest free-fall tower ride above the station. “Halo,” as it would be called, would rise 1,200 feet from the roof, have 11 cars, and move as quickly as 100 miles per hour, giving it a top-to-base free fall of about six seconds.
BIG’s design wouldn’t change much in the way of 2 Penn Plaza’s current configuration, but it would create more retail space at the base. Halo, though it would cost $637 million to build, claims it would bring in up to $38 million a year for the state. Since Brooklyn Capital is contending with Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies to upgrade the space, we want to know which of these ideas you think is a better fit.
Observation decks boasting panoramic city views have been to date the way to add a “thrill-seeking” element to new developments, but here’s a new proposal that really wants visitors to throw their arms up in excitement. As the Daily News first reports, two Brooklyn developers want to turn the top of Penn Station into the world’s tallest free-fall tower ride, an idea that would be developed alongside all the renovations planned for the outdated transit hub.
“Halo,” as it would be called, is the work of AE Superlab and would rise an incredible 1,200 feet from the roof of Madison Square, or be tacked onto the back of the adjacent Farley Post Office, which is slated to be converted into a waiting hall to support expanding station. And in addition to Halo’s towering height (to put that 1,200 feet in perspective, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet at its parapet), the ride’s 11 cars would boast adjustable speeds. Cars could be modified to move as quickly as 100 miles per hour giving it a top-to-base free fall of about six seconds.