On Thursday Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the final design for the new main entrance to Penn Station. The new 33rd Street and 7th Avenue entrance will provide much-needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road main concourse and the subway, eliminate congestion by doubling capacity for riders entering and leaving the LIRR level and enhance safety and security. Construction begins next month and will wrap up in December of 2020. The new design is the first we’ve seen of the $600 million Penn Station revamp since last September when Gov. Cuomo revealed a new LIRR entrance and public plaza.
New Jersey Transit announced Thursday it will offer discount fares for three months as it reduces train service to and from New York Penn Station. In addition to its already diminished service, the agency plans to cancel 18 daily trains on five lines and suspend all train service on a short rail segment in Princeton. There will also be no weekend service on the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex line. All fares will be cut by 10 percent from November through January, Bloomberg reported.
Rendering via the Governor’s office
At a well-timed press event this morning, Governor Cuomo touted the state’s $100 billion building program, the largest in the nation, and said if elected for another term, he’d increase that commitment to $150 billion. Among the many airport redesigns and the subway emergency plan, perhaps no project is more dear to Cuomo’s heart than that of Penn Station. And after a tour of the Moynihan Train Hall, on budget and on track to open by the end of 2020, the Governor announced that the dire safety, security, and circulation situation at Penn Station cannot wait two more years.
While construction wraps up at the LIRR and Amtrak’s future home, the state will build a new LIRR facility in the existing Penn Station. The proposal will double access to the trains with new entrances and an enlarged concourse and will create a permanent public plaza at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue.
Via Governor Cuomo’s office on Flickr
At a construction tour of Moynihan Train Hall this morning, 6sqft had the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the massive skylights that will crown this new concourse. The transformation of the historic James A. Farley Post Office into a bright, modern transportation hub is on time and on budget for its late 2020 opening, at which time it will increase the footprint of Penn Station by 50 percent, providing a new home for the LIRR and Amtrak. To date, 800 people working every day have logged more than one million hours of labor, and the four, massive skylights are perhaps the most stunning example of their efforts.
After starting construction last summer, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)‘s reimagined Moynihan Train Hall is now beginning to take shape. Part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex revamp of Penn Station, the old James A. Farley Post Office will be transformed into a crystal palace-esque boarding concourse with a 92-foot high skylight atop the 1913 building’s original steel trusses. CityRealty recently got an exclusive aerial look at how construction is progressing on the glass skylights ahead of the Train Hall’s anticipated 2020 opening.
Grand Central Terminal; image via Wikimedia
Last year, when Amtrak first announced eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station, all hell broke loose. Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted the planned work would cause a “summer of hell” for commuters and even asked President Donald Trump for emergency federal funds. But, to the surprise of many, the disruption proved to be mild and the repairs even finished ahead of schedule. Promising another painless process, Amtrak announced on Tuesday plans for track work at Penn Station again this summer. From May 26 to Sept. 4, trains that run along the Hudson River will be routed from Penn Station to Grand Central. Schedules for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains will remain unaffected.
Recognizing life sciences as New York City’s next largest growth sector, Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies hope to attract tech companies to the redevelopment of the James A. Farley Post Office. The joint venture will develop 850,000 square feet of commercial space, with roughly 730,000 square feet set aside for office space. The developers, which have a 99-year lease, are seeking biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses as tenants, according to the Wall Street Journal. The team has hired a Boston-based broker with experience in the life-sciences real-estate market and has also created a brochure with possible designs for laboratory and office space. The brochure is titled “Moynihan Research Center at Farley.”
Photo outside Penn Station via Maciek Lulko/Flickr
Less than one week before the state’s deadline to adopt its budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the “New York Pennsylvania Station Area Redevelopment Project,” a state-controlled development area around Penn Station. In the constant one-upmanship between Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, this would give Cuomo control over one of Manhattan’s top name-brand landmarks, according to a draft proposal acquired by Politico.
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.
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).