NY Penn station. Why 30 years have not started improvements.

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NY Penn station. Why 30 years have not started improvements.
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, December 2, 2019 1:23 PM

Warning a long read.  Author goes into the reasons that it has been impossible to get NYPS improved.  Names such as Moses, Clinton, Cuomo, many others all had a hand of derailing plans and implementation. 

https://news.yahoo.com/why-holiday-travel-awful-130157035.html

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 2, 2019 1:41 PM

Like any other 'public works' project it only takes two things to pull off.

Money and the will to accomplish the project, throw in engineering skills to implement it.

One thing without the other is failure.

 

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, December 2, 2019 2:37 PM

I thought the plan to convert the Farley post office to the Moynihan station was supposed to fix all that. Is that still happening? 

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 2:40 AM

The parasites killed off the host.

Greener pastures elsewhere. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:23 AM

54light15
I thought the plan to convert the Farley post office to the Moynihan station was supposed to fix all that. Is that still happening?

Call it the Moynihan Train Hall.

Here is the SOM page for the project.

  They still show a completion date of 2020 for the work, but I believe it has been pushed back to some time in 2021.  If things are otherwise, please provide actual references.

Meanwhile, the improvements to "Penn Station" itself are also coming along, although I remain underwhelmed:

https://untappedcities.com/2019/06/19/photos-penn-station-renovation-begins-with-modern-new-entrances-along-7th-avenue/

 

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Posted by Shock Control on Thursday, December 5, 2019 9:43 AM

So is the movement to re-build the old Penn Station officially belly-up?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:03 AM

Shock Control

So is the movement to re-build the old Penn Station officially belly-up?

 
Rebuilding the old Pennsylvania Station (designed by Stanford White) would be unlikely since you would have to demolish Madison Square Garden.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Shock Control on Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:14 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
Shock Control

So is the movement to re-build the old Penn Station officially belly-up?

 

 

 
Rebuilding the old Pennsylvania Station (designed by Stanford White) would be unlikely since you would have to demolish Madison Square Garden.
 

Regardless of the practicality, there is/was a movement to rebuild the station.  Has it officially been 86ed?

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Posted by NKP guy on Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:42 PM

   Madison Square Garden will be demolished...in about 18 or 20 years or so.

   As I recall from the New York Times, the owners of MSG were just finishing expensive renovations there a few years ago when the City started agitating again for them to leave the site.  As a compromise, and because the plans for the station weren't/haven't been finalized, and because funding wasn't/isn't solved, the owners of MSG were given a further 20 years' lease on the site.  The MSG needs time to find another location and the City needs time to plan for a new station.

   No one is seriously considering rebuilding the old station for a host of reasons.  Instead, there are plans to either:  1. design and build an all-new station, or 2.  strip off the walls of MSG and re-use the steel structure for a new station.  The second proposal not only would be less expensive and more innovative, it is visually more interesting.  Maybe someone here can post those two proposals.

   The tunnels situation is by far the more imperative project at this time.

   As for the demolished station, it wasn't that lovely, anyway.  It was impressive, yes, but really it was just a great heap of stones.  It didn't charm users as GCT did/does and was not particularly loved by New Yorkers the way GCT was from the start.  And no one then or now ever enjoyed the two-floors thing at Penn Station.

   In the meantime: Keep on scuttling.

 

 

 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, December 5, 2019 1:27 PM

I don't really get it.

Will the Moyhihan Train Hall essentially be the lobby/grand hall/whatever for the entire complex? But many train travelers (all Amtrak passengers?) will still have to walk from there to/thru the existing shabby, cramped waiting room to get to their trains?

I guess what I'm mainly asking is: is the MTH the gateway to all the trains, or only some of them?

And re what I read about renovations in Penn Station, is that essentially sprucing up the old waiting area (which will become a walk-thru concourse for people using Amtrak trains)?

If I take Amtrak from Boston to NYC, how will my experience be different?

I guess I'm asking this: how will the MTH and the existing Penn Station relate to each other?

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:29 PM

Lithonia Operator
I guess I'm asking this: how will the MTH and the existing Penn Station relate to each other?

If you can answer that question I think they will make you project manager

 

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Posted by NKP guy on Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:34 PM

   If I understand your question correctly, at the present time MTH is for the use of Long Island Railroad trains and passengers; Amtrak uses Penn Station.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, December 5, 2019 4:26 PM

runnerdude48

 

 
Lithonia Operator
I guess I'm asking this: how will the MTH and the existing Penn Station relate to each other?

 

If you can answer that question I think they will make you project manager

 

 

 

Big Smile

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, December 5, 2019 4:27 PM

NKP guy

   If I understand your question correctly, at the present time MTH is for the use of Long Island Railroad trains and passengers; Amtrak uses Penn Station.

 

That's depressing.

Thanks for answering, though.

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Posted by Shock Control on Friday, December 6, 2019 6:27 AM

NKP guy

   Madison Square Garden will be demolished...in about 18 or 20 years or so.

   As I recall from the New York Times, the owners of MSG were just finishing expensive renovations there a few years ago when the City started agitating again for them to leave the site.  As a compromise, and because the plans for the station weren't/haven't been finalized, and because funding wasn't/isn't solved, the owners of MSG were given a further 20 years' lease on the site.  The MSG needs time to find another location and the City needs time to plan for a new station.

   No one is seriously considering rebuilding the old station for a host of reasons.  Instead, there are plans to either:  1. design and build an all-new station, or 2.  strip off the walls of MSG and re-use the steel structure for a new station.  The second proposal not only would be less expensive and more innovative, it is visually more interesting.  Maybe someone here can post those two proposals.

   The tunnels situation is by far the more imperative project at this time.

   As for the demolished station, it wasn't that lovely, anyway.  It was impressive, yes, but really it was just a great heap of stones.  It didn't charm users as GCT did/does and was not particularly loved by New Yorkers the way GCT was from the start.  And no one then or now ever enjoyed the two-floors thing at Penn Station.

   In the meantime: Keep on scuttling.

 

Thanks.  Would you happen to know if the movement to re-build the old Penn Station is officially belly-up?

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Posted by NKP guy on Friday, December 6, 2019 8:32 AM

Shock Control
Thanks.  Would you happen to know if the movement to re-build the old Penn Station is officially belly-up?

   No, sorry.  I haven't seen it proclaimed as "officially belly-up" anywhere.  But neither have I seen it discussed anywhere since it was first proposed (by no one with any clout).  The other two proposals, yes, but not a re-build.

   Check the New York Times archive (or Google it) for complete and accurate information and status on this subject.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 6, 2019 6:32 PM

Shock Control
Thanks.  Would you happen to know if the movement to re-build the old Penn Station is officially belly-up?

There's little point in even considering a 'historic re-creation' of Penn Station with the air rights over the site being so valuable.  Note in very specific particular that the rebuilt roof in the Moynihan Train Hall is intended to 'recreate the experience' of the old building -- arguably a much better experience than the original, with its wacky interior layout, would likely do.

There are certainly some improvements to the existing station layout, but they are largely 'peripheral' or internal, and the effective scuttling from the street to any point in the station's actual rail infrastructure other than at Moynihan is likely to continue in that sense.

I had been laboring under the impression that the actual track access to Amtrak arrival and departure platforms would be provided through MTH by the time it has been completed.  I certainly haven't found any evidence that that has changed.

I was briefly active in a design proposal to re-create something like the Penn Station space "under" a new air-rights building to replace MSG.  This would involve considerable expense which, again, is provided via MTH considerably more cost-effectively even if there were to be no effective re-use of the MSG internal structure in any new construction in the air rights.  It was given a pretty definitive kibosh back in the day when MSG started doing the extensive renovations on their spaces ... whether you think they were cost-effectively justified or not, they made them, and would expect to be paid for them in any station rebuilding project.

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Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, December 7, 2019 8:36 AM

NKP guy

 

 
Shock Control
Thanks.  Would you happen to know if the movement to re-build the old Penn Station is officially belly-up?

 

   No, sorry.  I haven't seen it proclaimed as "officially belly-up" anywhere.  But neither have I seen it discussed anywhere since it was first proposed (by no one with any clout).  The other two proposals, yes, but not a re-build.

   Check the New York Times archive (or Google it) for complete and accurate information and status on this subject.

Thanks.  I couldn't tell if the newer developments effectively superceded the rebuild proposal.  I hadn't heard much about it recently, which is why I asked. 

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Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, December 7, 2019 8:39 AM

Overmod

 

 
Shock Control
Thanks.  Would you happen to know if the movement to re-build the old Penn Station is officially belly-up?

 

There's little point in even considering a 'historic re-creation' of Penn Station with the air rights over the site being so valuable.  Note in very specific particular that the rebuilt roof in the Moynihan Train Hall is intended to 'recreate the experience' of the old building -- arguably a much better experience than the original, with its wacky interior layout, would likely do.

There are certainly some improvements to the existing station layout, but they are largely 'peripheral' or internal, and the effective scuttling from the street to any point in the station's actual rail infrastructure other than at Moynihan is likely to continue in that sense.

I had been laboring under the impression that the actual track access to Amtrak arrival and departure platforms would be provided through MTH by the time it has been completed.  I certainly haven't found any evidence that that has changed.

I was briefly active in a design proposal to re-create something like the Penn Station space "under" a new air-rights building to replace MSG.  This would involve considerable expense which, again, is provided via MTH considerably more cost-effectively even if there were to be no effective re-use of the MSG internal structure in any new construction in the air rights.  It was given a pretty definitive kibosh back in the day when MSG started doing the extensive renovations on their spaces ... whether you think they were cost-effectively justified or not, they made them, and would expect to be paid for them in any station rebuilding project.

 
Thanks.  Then I think that they should rebuild it someplace else where the air space is not that valuable.  
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, December 7, 2019 8:42 AM

Someplace else?   Such as? 

Stop trying to recreate the past.  Build a modern,  light, airy structure that has good access and egress. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, December 7, 2019 9:06 AM

Wasn't there a plan to build a new MSG over top of the LIRR storage yards on the West side? 

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Posted by NKP guy on Saturday, December 7, 2019 12:18 PM

 

   That area is now the site of the new Hudson Yards development, which includes a number of new buildings and has dramatically changed the look of that part of Manhattan.

   Too bad a new MSG wasn't part of Hudson Yards; it's a lost opportunity.

 

 

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Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, December 7, 2019 1:08 PM

charlie hebdo

Someplace else?   Such as? 

Stop trying to recreate the past.  Build a modern,  light, airy structure that has good access and egress.

Sorry, but I love architecture at least as much as I love trains, if not moreso.  If Europe can rebuild structures destroyed by the Nazis, then the US should be able to rebuild an architectural marvel destroyed by ignorance and short-sightedness.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 7, 2019 2:19 PM

Shock Control
Thanks. Then I think that they should rebuild it someplace else where the air space is not that valuable.

The initial problem with this is that it implies 'not on Manhattan'.

You could always try building it in Vegas, or perhaps Lake Havasu City to complement the 'historic preservation' already there.  Good luck raising the money!

I'd again note that the roof over the revised Moynihan Train Hall is explicitly intended as a historical reference to the 'experience' of the old Penn Station.

All you really need to know about the net profitability of a new MSG vs. residential and commercial occupied space can be seen in how Hudson Yards is being developed.  (Personally I don't see the point in having a "Madison Square Garden" so far away from Madison Square in the first place, but it isn't that much different from St. Louis San Francisco when you look at it purely as a brand...)

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 7, 2019 2:24 PM

Shock Control
If Europe can rebuild structures destroyed by the Nazis, then the US should be able to rebuild an architectural marvel destroyed by ignorance and short-sightedness.

The issue is not about ability; it's about money, opportunity cost, and appreciation.  To most New Yorkers alive to remember it, I suspect Penn Station was a large, somewhat smelly, white elephant of a building sitting on a prime real-estate location, and they would be to put it bluntly disinterested in paying billions to get it back even in 1910 condition.  Change their minds and you might get somewhere.

I can probably put a design team together in no more than a few weeks from Hudson River Heritage-accessible sources alone to plan and supervise the work, if you arrange to have the dedicated construction funds in escrow.  Let me know when you do.  (That is, if you don't mind people from 'historically green-team area' contexts doing the work... Big Smile)

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Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, December 7, 2019 2:36 PM

Overmod

 

 
Shock Control
If Europe can rebuild structures destroyed by the Nazis, then the US should be able to rebuild an architectural marvel destroyed by ignorance and short-sightedness.

 

The issue is not about ability; it's about money, opportunity cost, and appreciation.  To most New Yorkers alive to remember it, I suspect Penn Station was a large, somewhat smelly, white elephant of a building sitting on a prime real-estate location, and they would be to put it bluntly disinterested in paying billions to get it back even in 1910 condition.  Change their minds and you might get somewhere.

I can probably put a design team together in no more than a few weeks from Hudson River Heritage-accessible sources alone to plan and supervise the work, if you arrange to have the dedicated construction funds in escrow.  Let me know when you do.  (That is, if you don't mind people from 'historically green-team area' contexts doing the work... Big Smile)

I admittedly am not holding my breath.  The decisionmakers in our current dystopian society probably lack the intelligence and taste to rebuild the old station. 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 7, 2019 3:11 PM

Shock Control
The decisionmakers in our current dystopian society probably lack the intelligence and taste to rebuild the old station.

But it doesn't go that far.  Whether or not the majority of the electorate is mouth-breathing, they (and the decision-makers they elect or can influence) will almost certainly find money spent on a fancy building for the rich pointless while there are social justice causes to be served with those funds.  Regardless of how much funding can be arranged.

Now, if you could get a consortium of the rich together to build a replacement station ... and I know of several in the New York area who, together, could arrange for it ... you might get somewhere.  Good luck again using an 'intelligence and taste' argument to get them to allocate their money to that, though -- although I suspect Ira Rennert at his Fairfield peak could have set it up if you gave him naming rights on it.

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Posted by Shock Control on Saturday, December 7, 2019 7:20 PM

Overmod

 

 
Shock Control
The decisionmakers in our current dystopian society probably lack the intelligence and taste to rebuild the old station.

 

But it doesn't go that far.  Whether or not the majority of the electorate is mouth-breathing, they (and the decision-makers they elect or can influence) will almost certainly find money spent on a fancy building for the rich pointless while there are social justice causes to be served with those funds.  Regardless of how much funding can be arranged.

Now, if you could get a consortium of the rich together to build a replacement station ... and I know of several in the New York area who, together, could arrange for it ... you might get somewhere.  Good luck again using an 'intelligence and taste' argument to get them to allocate their money to that, though -- although I suspect Ira Rennert at his Fairfield peak could have set it up if you gave him naming rights on it.

A gal can dream...

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, December 7, 2019 7:35 PM

Shock Control

 

 
charlie hebdo

Someplace else?   Such as? 

Stop trying to recreate the past.  Build a modern,  light, airy structure that has good access and egress.

 

Sorry, but I love architecture at least as much as I love trains, if not moreso.  If Europe can rebuild structures destroyed by the Nazis, then the US should be able to rebuild an architectural marvel destroyed by ignorance and short-sightedness.

 

Rebuilding an unpleasant descent into the bowels of (?) which was topped by a lame attempt at copying the Theme Di Caracalla seems like a silly idea unless your notion of an architectural marvel is analogous to an exhibition of paint-by-the-numbers Rembrandt knockoffs. 

BTW,  I think you would find a good deal of the architecture destroyed in WWII Europe was by the Allies. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 8, 2019 2:37 AM

It’s Happening: Revamping Penn Station While Keeping You Moving

By December 5, 2019
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East End Gateway & LIRR Concourse 12-5-19

Penn Station, one of the busiest transportation hubs in the U.S., is undergoing a massive transformation from its easternmost edge at 7th Avenue with East End Gateway to its westernmost edge at 9th Avenue with Moynihan Train Hall.

Work on the new East End Gateway has been underway since September. When completed, customers will enjoy a new entrance pavilion that will dramatically improve customer flow and introduce natural light into the station environment. While work is underway, a protective construction shield has been installed above the LIRR Concourse so overhead work can be done safely while customers traverse the concourse; and columns have been wrapped with information signage and track numbers have been demarcated with new signs so customer information continues to be widely available.

On top of that, even more work is going on behind the scenes to prepare for major construction starting in early 2020. Outside on 33rd Street, utilities were relocated to clear the way for the new entrance. Later this month, the northern wall (where the Duane Reade used to be), will be pushed back 27 feet! This move will open up more pedestrian space as work moves out into the concourse area to build new escalators and stairs. Construction of a Public Information Center (PIC) is underway to provide information to LIRR customers and anyone interested in the project. When it’s done, stop by for a look at the history of the LIRR at Penn Station — and where we’re headed in the future!

East End Gateway & LIRR Concourse 12-5-19This shield (above) allows work on the new entrance to be done safely overhead, while keeping the concourse open to the public. You may hear banging above you (kind of like a loud upstairs neighbor). It makes it possible for crews to work around the clock without interfering with pedestrian progress up and down the corridor.
East End Gateway-LIRR Concourse – New Signage Explains Phase 1 of Project – 12-02-2019As of Monday, December 2, tracks have been designated with new signs. Barrier walls at the project were wrapped with signage explaining the ongoing work and the benefits to LIRR passengers, including a new entrance at West 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, wider pedestrian areas, new lighting, more passenger information displays and, overall, a safer and more secure Penn Station.
East End Gateway & LIRR Concourse 12-5-19Making track locations clear to LIRR customers.

East End Gateway & LIRR Concourse

The new East End Gateway will change the landscape of 7th Avenue and 33rd Street. Mechanical and structural work for the new East End Gateway entrance is underway – work on the platform level will support the escalator above on the Entry Hall level.

The overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan continues to move forward and will fully transform the LIRR Concourse into a modern, world-class transportation hub. For more information and construction photos, please visit the East End Gateway and LIRR Concourse project page on AModernLI.com.

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