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-   -   NEW YORK | Moynihan Station / MSG Renovation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=185034)

BBMW Jan 11, 2016 3:54 PM

The deal to trade the theater to the state in return for state pushing through a renewal of MSG's operating agreement is a done deal. Whether the state can/will come up with the money to actually execute the project to use this space to rework Penn Station is up in the air. Cuomo seems to be planning on it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pico44 (Post 7294595)
Well, which is it? Is it a "done deal" or could you "easily see this happening"?


yankeesfan1000 Jan 11, 2016 5:30 PM

^ How are you so sure it's a done deal?

BBMW Jan 11, 2016 8:52 PM

Because they wouldn't be making such a big announcement if there wasn't an agreement.

drumz0rz Jan 15, 2016 5:59 PM

I like that people are thinking about upgrades to Penn but I think this is still short sighted. So we built a grand vaulted glass entry way where you can revel in all that open space for the 12 seconds it takes for you to walk from the door to the escalator that then takes you back down into the same clustered rat's nest that has existed since the 60s. The issue with Penn isn't how you enter the building, it's how you enter the trains, and where you wait. As long as the ugly circle and box remain above there's just nothing you can do to fix it.

Busy Bee Jan 15, 2016 7:20 PM

Any other society on earth, even the democtatic friends of ours, would have seized MSG with fair compensation to the owners and that would have been that. Your taking about something absolutely critical to the economic health of the city and region and we've let an entertainment coliseum sit on top of it for the benefit of one family. Absurd.

aquablue Jan 16, 2016 7:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drumz0rz (Post 7300593)
I like that people are thinking about upgrades to Penn but I think this is still short sighted. So we built a grand vaulted glass entry way where you can revel in all that open space for the 12 seconds it takes for you to walk from the door to the escalator that then takes you back down into the same clustered rat's nest that has existed since the 60s. The issue with Penn isn't how you enter the building, it's how you enter the trains, and where you wait. As long as the ugly circle and box remain above there's just nothing you can do to fix it.

Even in the moyinahan part, there will still be the rats nest of platforms underground. You can't do anything about that. Maybe if you had glass floors or something the platforms below would get light.

The old Penn seems to have got some higher ceilings now which should improve the experience.

At least the Amtrak part, which will be in the new Monyihan section, will be a fitting entrance to NYC from other cities with its high glass roof.

The old Penn will remain mostly for comutter traffic. Not ideal, but at least it's not going to be as bad as before and they have raised the ceilings in the concourse as the renderings show, with new higher class restaurants and shops added.

People are forgetting that the new Penn South will also be required when Gateway happens. The complex as a whole will be just massive. It will be a huge trifecta of terminals linked by tunnels together.

and from the rendering, msg will be reclad at least on that side. It looks far better there.

Busy Bee Jan 16, 2016 9:52 PM

We need a moonshot to give NYC the grand Penn Station it deserves... because this is not it.

Submariner Jan 18, 2016 4:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 7301850)
Even in the moyinahan part, there will still be the rats nest of platforms underground. You can't do anything about that. Maybe if you had glass floors or something the platforms below would get light.

The old Penn seems to have got some higher ceilings now which should improve the experience.

At least the Amtrak part, which will be in the new Monyihan section, will be a fitting entrance to NYC from other cities with its high glass roof.

The old Penn will remain mostly for comutter traffic. Not ideal, but at least it's not going to be as bad as before and they have raised the ceilings in the concourse as the renderings show, with new higher class restaurants and shops added.

People are forgetting that the new Penn South will also be required when Gateway happens. The complex as a whole will be just massive. It will be a huge trifecta of terminals linked by tunnels together.

and from the rendering, msg will be reclad at least on that side. It looks far better there.

The other problem remains the garbage sitting on top - One Penn Plaza and MSG are revolting looking structures.

drumz0rz Jan 19, 2016 4:38 PM

One Penn is the tall black glass clad building spanning 33rd and 34th streets. It was outside the original Penn space and I think it's a good looking building that should stay. I think you're thinking of 2 Penn Plaza, the ugly 60s box that sits just to the west of MSG. That needs to go. I think if you consider the location of the tracks, it could be possible to build a new grand Penn Station that still includes a large office complex on the eastern end, where that building currently resides, but the offices would need to start a few stories up to allow room for a vaulted entry hall from 7th Ave.

Regarding the 'rat's nest' of platforms, there are ways to open the space up. The original Penn design had most of the platforms open from above, like an indoor train shed. Smart acoustical engineering could be applied to dampen and muffle the sounds of the trains (mostly just the the humm/roar of the AC fans) so as to not overwhelm the open space. Direct sunlight reaching at least part of the platform would be huge.

mrnyc Jan 19, 2016 5:13 PM

^ correct. one penn is north and outside the footprint of the original penn station. it looks fine anyway. two penn is the ugly one that sits on the site, to the east side of msg. i am surprized it isn't coming down with this new cuomo plan. you could bring a lot of light in below via that cheap pos bldg's space. :shrug:

CityGuy87 Jan 19, 2016 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 7304746)
^ correct. one penn is north and outside the footprint of the original penn station. it looks fine anyway. two penn is the ugly one that sits on the site, to the east side of msg. i am surprized it isn't coming down with this new cuomo plan. you could bring a lot of light in below via that cheap pos bldg's space. :shrug:

One Penn looks like it's gonna get a reclad based on some of the renderings released by the governor.

aquablue Jan 20, 2016 1:49 AM

The only thing that strikes me as stupid is the massive new grand entrance that just leads you down to the basement. Travelers won't be lingering around much there, they will be on their way down the stairs. Why spend so much money on a big glass entry way when you are going to end up down in the bowels of the earth under low ceilings once again?

chris08876 Jan 20, 2016 8:35 PM

No surprise here. The sun might explode before we get a new Penn. :(
=========================

Cuomo’s Penn Station plan already falling behind schedule :haha:

Quote:

Two weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo convened the press to announce that he would achieve what governors before him had not: a transformative renovation of the much-reviled Penn Station.

Even better, he would get it done quickly, issuing a “request for proposals” to developers that same week, with responses due in 90 days.

That timeline, in fact, was one of the very few concrete details contained in an announcement that was otherwise made up mostly of history lessons and pronouncements like “Government is not a soap box. Government is a vehicle of results and action.”

“The redevelopment of Penn Station will commence this week,” Cuomo said, during the event at Madison Square Garden. "We’re not going to waste any time. We’re going to do a joint solicitation—RFP/RFEI, for people who like acronyms—by Empire State, Amtrak and the MTA for the redevelopment of Penn by a private sector developer.”

But those solicitations have yet to be issued, as promised.

It’s not clear what the hold-up is.

The governor’s office referred questions to Empire State Development, which had no comment. Nor did Amtrak.

A subheadline in the press release accompanying the announcement read: “Solicitations Being Issued to Developers This Week, Due Back in 90 Days; Groundbreaking Targeted for This Year.”

"Lots of people are asking about this, and wondering where the plan is," emailed Maura Moynihan, the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose vision for transforming the James A. Farley Post Office into a train hall is now central to Cuomo's own proposal. "Of course we are all desperate to see Penn Station raised from its current despicable condition which punishes every commuter who must brave The Pit — so we are hoping more news from Albany will be forthcoming!"
=========================
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/articl...ehind-schedule

Cynicism Jan 21, 2016 2:38 AM

.

chris08876 Jan 22, 2016 4:34 PM

Some more renderings:

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/201...zeen_936_2.jpg

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/201...zeen_936_1.jpg

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/201...zeen_784_1.jpg

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/201...M_dezeen_1.jpg

http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/201...M_dezeen_2.jpg
=============================
http://www.dezeen.com/2016/01/15/som...sion-new-york/

Submariner Jan 22, 2016 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drumz0rz (Post 7304693)
One Penn is the tall black glass clad building spanning 33rd and 34th streets. It was outside the original Penn space and I think it's a good looking building that should stay. I think you're thinking of 2 Penn Plaza, the ugly 60s box that sits just to the west of MSG. That needs to go. I think if you consider the location of the tracks, it could be possible to build a new grand Penn Station that still includes a large office complex on the eastern end, where that building currently resides, but the offices would need to start a few stories up to allow room for a vaulted entry hall from 7th Ave.

Regarding the 'rat's nest' of platforms, there are ways to open the space up. The original Penn design had most of the platforms open from above, like an indoor train shed. Smart acoustical engineering could be applied to dampen and muffle the sounds of the trains (mostly just the the humm/roar of the AC fans) so as to not overwhelm the open space. Direct sunlight reaching at least part of the platform would be huge.

The problem with open platforms is trains dumping all of their heat directly into the concourse. With Penn Station as it is now, passengers waiting for trains are mostly shielded from that.

Crawford Jan 22, 2016 7:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBMW (Post 7295593)
Because they wouldn't be making such a big announcement if there wasn't an agreement.

They never made such an announcement. It's a proposal, one of many, and is getting attacked from all sides, because the theater isn't the problem, it's the entire MSG that's the problem.

You cannot fix Penn Station without moving MSG. Simple as that. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. That's why most people agree MSG has to move.

TonyNYC Jan 22, 2016 8:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 7309070)
They never made such an announcement. It's a proposal, one of many, and is getting attacked from all sides, because the theater isn't the problem, it's the entire MSG that's the problem.

You cannot fix Penn Station without moving MSG. Simple as that. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. That's why most people agree MSG has to move.



The plans for that were in place 8-10 years ago.. MSG was going to move to the west side of the Farley Post office, The Old garden torn down to accommodate a new Penn Station and supertall!

Too bad they didn't go forward with it.. stalled out and the Dolans then dropped 1 billion dollars on a three yer gutting and rebuild of the interior of MSG.

Wasted opportunity... like always when it comes to too many players involved.

sparkling Jan 25, 2016 5:14 PM

Penn Station Overhaul Is Now One Step Closer to Happening

Monday, January 25, 2016
Amy Plitt

Quote:

Just a couple of weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to transform Penn Station and the James A. Farley Post Office (to the tune of $3 billion), the Empire State Development Corporation has released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the site, now called Empire Station Complex. The RFP outlines the project sponsors (which include the ESD, along with Cuomo, the MTA, and Amtrak) plans to create an "iconic new passenger rail complex and mixed-use destination in the heart of New York City."

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/50...12.15%20AM.png

Per the RFP, "the status quo at Penn Station is no longer adequate to meet the needs of today's passenger" (that's the understatement of the decade), and so the project sponsors have set out a number of proposed updates to the complex. The 65-page document (available here, in PDF form) goes into extremely thorough detail on what the revamped train depot could look like, with different sections for overhauls of Penn Station and the Farley Post Office (now called the Moynihan Train Hall). Here's some of what that will entail:

· The Penn Station plans call for the creation of a "grand entrance" along Eighth Avenue, which would mean demolishing the Theater at MSG and adding retail to the entrance area. (The RFP is using Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's renderings for the additions and improvements.)

· Connecting the complex to Penn Station South and the infrastructure proposed as part of the Gateway Program, as seen in the map above.

· Another "grand entrance" along Seventh Avenue could also be part of the plan.

· The station itself would be opened up, with new skylights, along with an improved configuration for passengers on the upper and lower levels of Penn Station.

· The two terminals would be linked via a concourse, which is currently under construction beneath the Farley Post Office.

· The Moynihan Train Hall will have 210,000 square feet of space, including "primary facilities for LIRR commuters," including ticket booths, waiting areas, and other amenities.

· The revamped hall could also be home to office spaces and even a hotel, along with services for AirTrain and Amtrak commuters (including ticket booths and a waiting area).

And that's just a small portion of what's potentially to come. According to the Real Deal, Related Companies, which has been attached to the project for several years, will be submitting a proposal; Vornado Realty Trust, which was also working on the development, declined to comment. TRD also reports that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which has been working on the Penn redevelopment plans since the 1960s, is still attached to the project (its renderings of the Empire Station Complex are all over the RFP), but if the developer that's ultimately chosen wants to bring in their own architect, that's a possibility.

Developers who wish to submit proposals can do so for either Penn Station, the Farley Post Office, or both; proposals are due by April 22

drumz0rz Jan 25, 2016 6:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Submariner (Post 7309000)
The problem with open platforms is trains dumping all of their heat directly into the concourse. With Penn Station as it is now, passengers waiting for trains are mostly shielded from that.

Is that a problem though? Heat rises, so open platforms would be great to heat the space above. Looking at the moynihan station renders, there are a few floors of space above the terminal concourse which I believe currently are mostly vacant space. You could fairly easily design a cooling system designed to vent excess heat and cool the air when necessary.

Why waste that excess heat when you can recapture it to heat the terminal? There are plenty of other examples of large enclosed spaces which rely on operational use for heating and air circulation, the mall of america is a good example.

BiggieSmalls Jan 26, 2016 11:47 PM

im not sure that the platforms is the issue but the area above where the waiting areas adn corridors are..

most commuters and travelers spend very little time on the platforms themselves. when the train is called you proceed to the track and board your train.. you spend all your time in teh waiting areas and moving between LIRR/Amtrak and NJT and the subway..

i think there are significant opportunities to expand the crowd areas via a shed on the north side between the two Penn Plazas and where the MSG theater now resides.

i like this compromise to keep MSG where it is and blow out the Theater at MSG which is somewhat of an eyesore across from the post office.

Move the AMTRACK crowd to the post office.. along with most of the locker rooms and staffing infrastructure and open the old AMTRAK waiting area up tp the north. would take some creative discussions with KMART across the street but something could be developed. plenty of room for NJT/LIRR and Metro North

ardecila Jan 27, 2016 1:14 AM

People smarter than I am have concluded that you could reduce Penn Station to a smaller number of wider platforms, and move people more efficiently than the current setup.

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...#comment-17519

C. Jan 27, 2016 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7314115)
People smarter than I am have concluded that you could reduce Penn Station to a smaller number of wider platforms, and move people more efficiently than the current setup.

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...#comment-17519


Interesting link. Thanks. Penn Station's platforms are such a mess. More so than the mess above it.

BBMW Jan 27, 2016 6:35 PM

This proposal is an absolute non starter. The land over the tracks/platforms is too valuable not to build on it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7314115)
People smarter than I am have concluded that you could reduce Penn Station to a smaller number of wider platforms, and move people more efficiently than the current setup.

https://pedestrianobservations.wordp...#comment-17519


drumz0rz Jan 27, 2016 9:16 PM

I do like that the author is thinking about track layout, which as he points out, is noticeably absent from these other proposals. I think you could definitely speed up throughput if you could reconfigure the tracks. I liked the ideal in the comments of uneven 'spanish style' platforms. That is to say, a wider platform on one side and a smaller platform on the other. An AM peak train would open it's door towards the wider platform to unload, while passengers queued up for the return trip would be waiting on the narrower platform for the doors to open there. A PM peak train would arrive and unload first onto the narrow platform, then opening the doors to the wider platform full of waiting passengers.

One issue though is that savvy commuters (of which there are many) would quickly figure this system out. If a departure is announced on platform 2 for example, a savvy commuter may instead go to platform 1 and push against the exiting steam in order to get priority access to the seats before the doors are opened on platform 2. Controlling escalator direction could discourage that, but staircases will ensure it always happens...

sparkling Mar 16, 2016 12:29 PM

BIG Plans Revealed For Two Penn Plaza Transformation

Nikolai Fedak
March 16, 2016

Quote:

Among the numerous hulking eyesores in new york city, two penn plaza manages to make a particularly negative impact, and its placement above penn station helps cement the latter’s status as an architectural failure. But now we have a first look at plans to transform the structure completely, created by bjarke ingels group/big for developer vornado.

The surrounding blocks are frequently subject to fantastical renderings. The hotel pennsylvania may eventually give way to a 1,200-foot office behemoth designed by pelli clarke pelli. Madison square garden’s air rights have also been imagined in the vicinity. But the plans for two penn plaza are grounded in a reality much closer to realization, as vornado has publicly stated it is going to transform both one and two penn plaza.

Continue Reading

http://www.yimbynews.com/wp-content/...-3-777x575.jpg

http://www.yimbynews.com/wp-content/...4-1024x596.jpg

http://www.yimbynews.com/wp-content/...2-1024x767.jpg

chris08876 Mar 16, 2016 4:22 PM

Is it just me or is Bjarke Ingels designing every large project nowadays?

I'd much prefer SHoP. This loos like rubbish, and its one of the few times I'm vocal about a design. Something about it I just can't put my finger on it, but its not sitting well with me. :shrug:


They need to get some of the facade treatment designs that where used for that Metlife redesign.

Submariner Mar 16, 2016 5:27 PM

Truth be told, BIG only has so much to work with. MSG is an unmitigated, unholy abortion of design.

jsbrook Mar 17, 2016 12:38 AM

BIG's plan looks like shit. Even with the turd they have to work with, this can absolutely be done better.

hammersklavier Mar 17, 2016 12:44 AM

It's quite creative, to say the least. I rather like the way it feels like the shaft façade can't contain the base.

patriotizzy Mar 17, 2016 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 7373797)
It's quite creative, to say the least. I rather like the way it feels like the shaft façade can't contain the base.

Yeah, same with me. The base gives it such a uniqueness that I don't recall seeing before. Should make a great pedestrian view!
However, the top portion could be more than a box with a textured curtain.

ardecila Mar 17, 2016 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsbrook (Post 7373792)
BIG's plan looks like shit. Even with the turd they have to work with, this can absolutely be done better.

I actually think it's quite creative. I've thought of a similar solution for Union Station in Chicago. Penn Station and One Penn Plaza are both immovable objects, so BIG tried to "create" open space between the two by reducing the tower at its base to just a structural skeleton. The facade blowout also creates a canopy to provide a big front porch for Penn. Not sure I dig the ruffle, but the concept is solid.

In BIG's shoes, I would removed the floorplates close to the bottom entirely and open up the lower levels of the building to create a grand space full of columns. The office lobby would just be a small floating platform inside this space. You could (maybe) make up the lost square footage by adding to the top of the building.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2016 11:31 PM

I won't waste a bunch of words. It is creative — but it is also stupid. A gimmick design that people will hate in 20 years because it looks ridiculous.

SkyscrapersOfNewYork Mar 17, 2016 11:50 PM

BIG please go back to Europe....

jbermingham123 Mar 18, 2016 5:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyscrapersOfNewYork (Post 7375135)
BIG please go back to Europe....

As much as i love his design philosophy, I'm unfortunately getting more and more annoyed with his New York designs. Ingels is great at designing for European cities, where he is free to establish new and original skyscraper aesthetics in places which don't traditionally have skyscrapers, but New York actually does have skyscrapers, and, if i may add, a highly established local aesthetic for them...

This means that historically, a lot of the more original, out of the box (literally) designs don't age well in NY. I seriously wonder about the future of the BIG Pyramid, for instance. It is a gorgeous building, don't misunderstand me.. but in the future, when it is surrounded on three sides by tall, most likely rectangular buildings, will it still look so good?

The best architects for NY are ones who are able to use Gotham's sharply angular and subtly ominous aesthetic as an asset (SHoP has this perfected Down. To. The. Tee.), rather than see it simply as the barrier of tradition begging to be broken.

My conclusion? What Ingels needs to do is move to LA. He would be able to do there what he has done so well in Europe: create the high-rise aesthetic for a currently low-rise city. If he really worked his magic in SoCal, his influence on the urban fabric of the region could last for hundreds of years.

[Ingels also has something that could give him a lot more power in LA than other architects, which is his deeply human-oriented style and ability to connect with the general population. When people see Ingels's designs and press conferences and youtube videos, its as if they immediately know he's on their side. Likablility is unfortunately something that is very rare in the architecture and development community (especially in LA), and Ingels practically oozes it. If theres anyone on this planet who can break the NIMBYs of LA, it might very well be Bjarke Ingels.]

chris08876 Mar 18, 2016 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbermingham123 (Post 7375425)
The best architects for NY are ones who are able to use Gotham's sharply angular and subtly ominous aesthetic as an asset (SHoP has this perfected Down. To. The. Tee.), rather than see it simply as the barrier of tradition begging to be broken.

I agree. We need more Gotham like towers. SHoP understands this. Ingels thinks more in the future while SHoP combines element that exist in the city, but only translates them to the 21st Century.

Submariner Mar 18, 2016 3:51 PM

I know I am preaching to the choir here, but the only way to truly bring back Penn is to raze the tower and stadium that sits on top of it.

I'd love a modern take on the old Penn Station. Perhaps all the architecture geeks should write their representatives and city officials to tell them this. Unlike years past, there seems to be genuine interest on a 1st rate rehabilitation of the area.

Busy Bee Mar 18, 2016 5:11 PM

Yes and yes

hammersklavier Mar 18, 2016 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patriotizzy (Post 7375029)
Yeah, same with me. The base gives it such a uniqueness that I don't recall seeing before. Should make a great pedestrian view!
However, the top portion could be more than a box with a textured curtain.

Eh, the way I think about it is that the station is bursting out of the '70s box that's imprisoned it for a generation. In which context (1) the '70s look of the shaft needs to be maintained, and (2)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7375050)
I actually think it's quite creative. I've thought of a similar solution for Union Station in Chicago. Penn Station and One Penn Plaza are both immovable objects, so BIG tried to "create" open space between the two by reducing the tower at its base to just a structural skeleton. The facade blowout also creates a canopy to provide a big front porch for Penn. Not sure I dig the ruffle, but the concept is solid.

In BIG's shoes, I would removed the floorplates close to the bottom entirely and open up the lower levels of the building to create a grand space full of columns. The office lobby would just be a small floating platform inside this space. You could (maybe) make up the lost square footage by adding to the top of the building.

the success or failure of the proposal will be based almost entirely on how airy they make the waiting area feel. Succeed, and they've made an iconic new waiting area for New York, one that actually manages to respond to the site in a deeply visceral way. Fail, and we're right back to where we started.

scalziand Mar 21, 2016 4:43 AM

Looks like Marilyn Monroe's skirt getting blown up by the subway vent.

Submariner Mar 21, 2016 1:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scalziand (Post 7377994)
Looks like Marilyn Monroe's skirt getting blown up by the subway vent.

The current Penn Station invokes similar feelings, except instead of Monroe, it's a homeless meth addicts tattered frock that is blown sky high.

All things considered, I think your vision is far more appealing.

ethereal_reality Mar 21, 2016 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scalziand (Post 7377994)
Looks like Marilyn Monroe's skirt getting blown up by the subway vent.

:previous: Cleverest comment of the day.

Arthururban Mar 27, 2016 7:23 PM

A slightly older article but still interesting to read.

Read more: http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/28/11...rak-nj-transit

Inside America's worst train station
What makes New York's Penn Station suck so bad?

Quote:

Once upon a time, New York’s Pennsylvania Station was not a hell hole. In fact, it was one of the grandest places in America. Built in 1910 on the West Side of Manhattan, the original structure was majestic, a reflection of principal architect Charles McKim’s vision to celebrate "the entrance to one of the great metropolitan cities of the world." And celebrate it did, from its Beaux Arts exterior of pink granite and marble, to its stately colonnade, to its cavernous main waiting hall inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla. It was one of the architectural jewels of New York City.

Today, Penn Station is more like a polished turd, except it’s not really polished. It’s been called “the worst place in New York City,” “the worst transit experience in the US,” and “the worst place on Earth” — and that’s just from Googling one adjective. It’s home to three different railroads: Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road, but it is almost entirely owned by Amtrak. Madison Square Garden squats on top of the station, choking off all natural light and air. Its cramped corridors, suffocating odors, confusing signage, and baffling layout make the overall experience of traveling through Penn Station equal to a very invasive, very unnecessary surgery. Without anesthesia.

But forget all that, because Penn Station is getting a makeover. In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his grand plan for the nation’s busiest-but-dingiest train station (600,000 passengers a day, 200 million a year). Calling it the “biggest construction project in our state’s history,” Cuomo said he would remake the current rat’s nest under Madison Square Garden, while also transforming the nearly vacant James A. Farley Post Office across the street into a new passenger waiting area. He called for the creation of a new glass-walled entrance, the razing of a 5,600-seat theater under Madison Square Garden, and brand new retail. The hopelessly tarnished name “Penn Station” would fade from memory. This would be the “Empire Station Complex.”

To truly appreciate how transformative a redesigned Penn Station could be for the New York region, one must first embrace the misery that is Penn Station today; only then can one understand how a new station would be not only cathartic to the public, but also crucial to the future of transportation in the Northeast. To do that, I called up James Ramsey, founder of Raad Studio, former NASA engineer, co-creator of the Lowline project, and all-around keen architectural eye, and asked him to give us an expert's look at why exactly this place sucks so much — to play Virgil to our Dante as we descend into the hellish circles of New York's Pennsylvania Station.

There are three circles, or levels, to Penn Station, each corresponding to a different railroad. Each section is distinct with its own signage, its own lighting, its own color scheme, and its own idiosyncrasies for frustrating riders. That was one of Ramsey's takeaways after our slog through the transit hub: the lack of a unifying theme. "Three fiefdoms," Ramsey said, "being smashed by a giant commercial interest."

We started in Amtrak's concourse, with its mirrored columns, baby blue color scheme, and shadow-canceling lighting overhead. The departures board is hung ponderously in the middle of the room like a giant guillotine blade. Surrounding it were hundreds of frowning commuters waiting for the numbers to change so they could get the hell out of here. Classical music drifted from somewhere above in an all-too-obvious attempt to create a cultured environment. It failed.

(.....)

jbermingham123 Mar 28, 2016 12:00 AM

^^It seems like this "empire station complex" plan, is really just polishing the turd, to use his analogy. Why are they spending money to revamp this station when MSG only has another ~20 years left?? When MSG goes, they will just have to tear everything back out

Arthururban Mar 29, 2016 6:28 PM

^Agreed!

BrownTown Mar 29, 2016 11:30 PM

Why do people even give a shit about making it better looking? It's a train station, not an art gallery. I'm there for the minimum amount of time possible no matter what it looks like. The Billions of dollars spent on these sort of, "lipstick on a pig" improvements could help huge numbers of people if plowed into new subway lines like SAS and Utica Ave. instead of making a bunch of pretty train stations that don't do anything to help out commuters and are just there to make the city look nicer to tourists.

drumz0rz Mar 30, 2016 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 7387984)
Why do people even give a shit about making it better looking? It's a train station, not an art gallery. I'm there for the minimum amount of time possible no matter what it looks like. The Billions of dollars spent on these sort of, "lipstick on a pig" improvements could help huge numbers of people if plowed into new subway lines like SAS and Utica Ave. instead of making a bunch of pretty train stations that don't do anything to help out commuters and are just there to make the city look nicer to tourists.

Why build an airport terminal beyond a small grey box with the minimum required space to be functional? Why bother painting the walls or hanging artwork in an office, I'm there to work and get out. Why aren't all cars identical aerodynamic boxes without wasteful aesthetic designs, after all, they're just a means to get from point a to point b. Why don't we all just wear the same optimal clothing of a uniform color and style, since it's just a means to insulate our bodies from the environment and nothing more. :dancing:

Busy Bee Mar 30, 2016 2:33 PM

Here here.

BrownTown Mar 31, 2016 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drumz0rz (Post 7388448)
Why build an airport terminal beyond a small grey box with the minimum required space to be functional? Why bother painting the walls or hanging artwork in an office, I'm there to work and get out. Why aren't all cars identical aerodynamic boxes without wasteful aesthetic designs, after all, they're just a means to get from point a to point b. Why don't we all just wear the same optimal clothing of a uniform color and style, since it's just a means to insulate our bodies from the environment and nothing more.

Hell if I know, I wonder the same all the time. The amount of money wasted on this shit while millions of people suffer and die is absurd.

Busy Bee Mar 31, 2016 1:27 AM

I can't tell if you're being serious and I don't think I'm the only one.


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