Penn Station

City Living, Technology, Transportation

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

If you’ve ever found yourself lost in a maze of corridors or trampled in a boarding stampede at Penn Station, help may have arrived in the form of yet another useful mobile app. Beginning this week, Amtrak will offer a free app, FindYourWay, that helps travelers–65,000 of whom pass through the station each day–find their way through the station and avoid the crush of crowds that form around electronic boards announcing train departures, the New York Times reports.

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Architecture, Midtown West, Transportation, Urban Design

Drawing of the original Penn Station, re-created. Credit: Jeff Stikeman for Rebuild Penn Station

In August 6sqft reported that major work was underway in the $1.6 billion transformation of Penn Station’s James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot “world-class 21st century transportation hub” called Moynihan Train Hall. That hasn’t stopped the flow of suggestions for how to best make use of New Yorkers’ un-favorite transport hub, which have included Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti’s proposal to repurpose, then move the old building to create a neighborhood gathering spot and a plan by Columbia University’s DeathLab  to turn the the station into a landscaped cemetery. Among those voices-with-a-vision is Rebuild Penn Station, a group of architects and preservationists whose intent is to recreate the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station, and a new ad campaign aims to get commuters on board (h/t Curbed).

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Policy, Transportation

amtrak, penn station, summer of hell

Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station this summer, image via Amtrak

Amtrak announced on Monday its plan for the second phase of track renewal projects for Penn Station, set to begin this winter. Between January 5 and May 28 of next year, there will be continuous single-track closures, affecting Amtrak and commuter train operation at the Midtown transit hub. While similar to the infrastructure repairs that took place for eight weeks this past June, dubbed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the “summer of hell,” the impact will be less severe for commuters and most of the work will take place on the weekends.

More here

Green Design, Midtown West, Urban Design

MSG reimagined as a cemetery (L); Memorial walls in the subway stations (R). Via DeathLab

The rant that traveling via Penn Station is enough to kill you just took on a whole new meaning. Untapped Cities shared this vision from Columbia University’s DeathLab (yes, this is a group dedicated to dealing with death in the city) that reimagines Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as a giant cemetery and public space. The general idea is to be more eco-friendly and accessible. Not only will the human remains be used to fertilize the gardens, but family members and the general public will be able to record digital memories to be stored on a central server.

Learn more about this proposal

Midtown West

Penn-Farley Complex, Moynihan Station, Farley Post Office, Moynihan Train Hall

Earlier this month, New York City officially pitched four neighborhoods to house Amazon’s HQ2: Long Island City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, Lower Manhattan and Midtown West. During its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday, Vornado Realty Trust said the Moynihan Train Hall remains at the forefront of the city’s Midtown West bid, citing the project’s proposed 730,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail as meeting the retailer’s key requirements (h/t Commercial Observer). Vornado, along with Related Companies, Skanska USA, and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is converting the former James A. Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Train Hall, an effort led by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a world-class transit center.

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Featured Story

Features, History, Midtown West, photography, The urban lens

Photography, Penn Station, Art, Zach Gross

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, photographer Zach Gross presents his series “Penn Station.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

The original Penn Station, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece completed by McKim, Mead & White in 1910, evoked the kind of grandeur one would expect upon arriving in one of the greatest cities in the world, complete with a grand facade made of massive Corinthian columns and a 15-story waiting room with a steel and glass roof. This structure was demolished in 1964 and replaced with our present version, lacking any of the architectural merit or civic design of its predecessor. But recent years have sparked a renewed interest in transforming the station into an updated and better functional transit hub, falling under a $1.6 billion plan from Governor Cuomo.

Well aware of both the history and future of Penn Station, photographer Zach Gross recently completed a unique series that layers historic imagery of the site with contemporary photos. He feels that, though the station is currently dysfunctional, “there’s still hope for a grand, more unified and uplifting structure,” and it’s this hopeful sentiment that shines through in his work.

Hear more from Zach and see his photo series

City Living, Design

Photo via Kev Harb on Flickr

After announcing the official end of the “summer of hell” last week, Amtrak said the next thing on their to-do list is to finally fix the disgusting and dilapidated bathrooms at Penn Station. Both men’s and women’s bathrooms at the busiest transit center in the country will be refurbished beginning this fall, as the New York Times reported.

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Transportation

amtrak, penn station, summer of hell

Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station, image via Amtrak

Amtrak announced on Thursday that the eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station predicted to be the “summer of hell” by Governor Cuomo, have officially ended ahead of the scheduled Monday deadline (h/t WNYC). Following a series of train derailments and system failures, Amtrak began repairing and replacing tracks in July. Over 360 workers installed six football fields worth of track and 176 yards of concrete this summer, according to Amtrak. While regular transit operations at Penn Station will resume Sept. 5, more repair work will continue through June 2018, with most of the work taking place on the weekends.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo via Kev Harb via Flickr

The emergency Penn Station repairs that began in July will be completed on time with regular operating service resuming on Sept. 5, Amtrak announced Thursday. After delays and a few train derailments, Amtrak closed 21 tracks at Penn earlier this summer. Nearly seven weeks of the eight scheduled weeks of repair work for this “summer of hell” have been completed thus far.

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Major Developments, Midtown West, Transportation

Penn-Farley Complex, Moynihan Station, Farley Post Office, Moynihan Train Hall

Iage via the office of the Governor

At a press conference this morning in the under-construction space, Governor Cuomo announced that major work has begun on transforming the James A. Farley Building into the state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall. Along with the news that the $1.6 billion project will create 12,000+ construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs, come new renderings of the station, showing more exterior views and looks at the 700,000-square-foot shopping and dining concourse.

All the renderings and more details this way

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