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Thread: New Penn Station (Moynihan Station)

  1. #2356


    Hopefully, the state will seize some of this crap in order to build a 34th St entrance.

  2. #2357
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    On the Rails in North NJ


    Any News on this project?

  3. #2358
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Hardly anything of note happens real estate wise in the last two weeks of August.

  4. #2359


    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    Hopefully, the state will seize some of this crap in order to build a 34th St entrance.

    What's nice about those little buildings is they reveal the backs of the wedding-cake buildings behind it. Also, unless the city creates a provision limiting storefront width, I'm not looking forward to the redevelopment of this part of 34th street. It will be sterilized with chain stores.

  5. #2360


    I'll take a Target over the Bag Man, Cinderella Club,. Dolce Fashion and Wendy's. In fact, I'd much prefer a big transparent glass box over this hodgepodge of junk. They make the area look like mierda.

    Although I would not expect London-style quality in a city that does everything cheap, something like this new development on Oxford Street would be a nice replacement for this junk.

    This gem on Canon Street would be a nice replacement for the crap on W34th too.
    Last edited by londonlawyer; August 20th, 2010 at 09:26 AM.

  6. #2361
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Talks on Moynihan Station air rights begin

    State, city re-enter negotiations with Vornado Realty Trust and The Related Cos.; after approval of Phase 1 contracts, attention turns to funding the $1 billion second phase.

    By Jeremy Smerd

    The state and the city have re-entered negotiations with Vornado Realty Trust and The Related Cos. over the sale of 1 million square feet of air rights associated with the new Moynihan Station, said Tim Gilchrist, the new president of the Moynihan Station Development Corp. in a recent interview with Crain's.

    The developers entered into a memorandum of understanding with the state in 2006 to develop the Farley Post Office into a new train station and to use the air rights to build an adjacent mixed-use development topped by a 67-story tower. But the plan, including $110 million from the sale of the air rights, was never approved by the Public Authorities Control Board.

    Instead, the recession forced the state to split the development into two phases. Eventually, federal stimulus funding provided the final $83 million needed to build the $267 million first phase, which entails linking the Farley building to expanded Penn Station platforms to give passengers another exit.

    The initial construction contracts were approved Monday, and now attention is turning to funding the $1 billion second phase.

    That's where the sale of air rights comes in. The Farley building—which occupies the square block between West 31st and West 33rd streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues—comes with 2.5 million square feet of transferable air rights. While Related and Vornado have dibs on the first 1 million, the remaining 1.5 million square feet are up for grabs.

    If an air-rights agreement with the two developers is reached, the 1 million-square-foot “Penn West” could begin rising before construction on the station's first phase is completed in the next three to four years.

    “We have a way to move forward, we just have to negotiate the pieces,” Mr. Gilchrist said. “I'd love to get money to build [the station].”

    Time is ticking: The agreement that gives Related and Vornado exclusive development rights expires in 2012.

  7. #2362


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    Unless the city creates a provision limiting storefront width, I'm not looking forward to the redevelopment of this part of 34th street.
    Can we swap you in for Amanda Burden, Derek?

    That notion is No. 2 on my Top 3 wishlist of seemingly minor changes New York (or any city) should make: rather than have zoning limits focused around height, limit width as a function of height (with an absolute restriction on width after a certain point unless there's some compelling need, like a convention center, etc.) so that buildings climb up rather than bulge out.

    No. 1 is also something you mentioned recently: if not a blanket landmarking, then at least requiring a diligence before any pre-war building is razed, saving the pre-wars -- and applying pressure on the post-wars.

    No. 3 is to incentivize developers to build on surface lots.

    I only wish Amanda Burden (or the Landmarks Commission, City Council, whoever the relevant authority is) had that sort of agenda.

  8. #2363


    If only I had the money and the connections.

  9. #2364

  10. #2365


    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor View Post
    I have actually stood on the platforms at GC and Penn because I've actually used the commuter rail at both (and on numerous occasions over several years) and they were both not pleasurable experiences to say the least. Concrete catacombs is not too far off of reality.
    I totally agree. I find the platform areas at Grand Central Terminal to be much worse than those an London Euston for example. I like the concourse areas of both stations though. This is my first post here; I'll come to New York in a moment, but I'd like to reply to a few of your points about London first.

    Moorgate is the only rail termini in London to be underground, it is entirely sub-surface and dates back to 1863 when the first underground trains ran through. Commuter rail terminating at Moorgate actually run alongside the three tube lines that run through (another tube line being further underground).
    That part of Moorgate, the metropolitan Line platforms and the recently-closed Thameslink ones were in the open air until quite recent times, towards the end of the '60s if I remember correctly. I certainly remember the station as it used to be.

    There are only about a dozen platforms and its one of the smaller termini of London, but its a step up from what the current Penn is (Moorgate still has a good deal of art deco and high victorian amongst the more 'modern' look). The other 12 termini are either at grade (Fenchurch St, Cannon St, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Victoria, Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras + Kings Cross) in large cuttings/trenches (Liverpool Street) or elevated entirely on immense viaducts (London Bridge). My personal opinion is that when it comes to stations, New York is great at making the concourses and ticket halls, etc...but when it actually comes to the full package it somehow stumbles, falls at the last hurdle at making decent platforms.
    It seems that you count London stations the same way that I do, I used to count fifteen before Broad Street and Holborn Viaduct closed. Some people count Victoria as two stations because it used to be; the same for London Bridge. Some don't count Moorgate because it is owned by London Underground etc. However many you count I think one thing is certain, there are far too many. The many competing railway companies, each building their own station, or pair of stations, gave us the stupid situation we have today. Manhattan does much better with just two main stations. I think one of the best things that Dr. Richard Beeching (Chairman of the British Railways Board in the early '60s who published a report recommending the closing of many lines and stations, and the development of those parts of the railway network that he considered worth keeping) could have done would have been to close many of the London termini, sell off the land, and expand and develop the remaining ones, but the money simply wasn't available to do it. In total the London termini had about 130 passenger platforms in use.

    I would actually go as far as to say that the actual platforms were an after-thought of the architects/engineers and on what is a New York forum thats going to sting, but its actual criticism that I really think needs to be pointed out. It worries me that they managed to bodge the platforms up at GC (and to an extent at the old Penn), when the rest of the station was excellent and what now would be the result of this extension when the extravagances of GC are simply unattainable in todays world! I await with scepticism, but hope my fears aren't realised. Then again when I've used the commuter rail system it has only been as a tourist so its not like I have to use it everyday like the thousands of commuters that do, thank god!
    I agree up to a point, but it really wouldn't be possible to build platforms at Penn Station other than underground. With Manhattan being so narrow, there would be no way to get under both rivers, and bring the tracks up to ground level in between. Crossing the rivers by bridge would obstruct shipping, and opening bridges would be impractical given the intensive train service.

    In New York and New Jersey, I don't know about the rest of the US, they don't seem to consider the platforms to need to look good, I suppose there is the point that passengers only spend a very brief time there. This doesn't only apply to sub-surface platforms, those at Newark Penn and Hoboken Terminal are pretty grim compared to the waiting rooms at these stations.

    London though too lost a major station thanks to the Hitler, Luftwaffe Demolition & Co and 'genius'of 60's planners. The most famous being Euston. Very few pictures unfortunately exist of the old station and those that do only show the immense Euston arch and not the station behind the arch (which had halls larger than Grand Central), it was built entirely in the classical order and with several large train sheds of the highest design - if it was around in its old form it would most likely be resembled to a Greek temple more with trains terminating than a station. The replacelement is ugly and resembles more an airport terminal but is more 'open' than Penn. One of my interests would be to see the entire station re-built in the original style...the cost though would be pretty damn astronomical I suspect though! London fortunately though had more termini and most of the original stations remain intact or have had 'added' bits.
    I saw the old Euston just once, aged about four, so I don't remember it well. There are plenty of pictures available of the Great Hall and the Shareholders meeting room, the two major parts of the station with architectural merit. To be honest, the station was a mess. It's a pity that those two rooms couldn't have been preserved somehow, but I don't see how it could have been done. The buildings were a long way North of the Euston Road; the Arch stood on Drummond Street, roughly where the ticket barriers for the local d.c. trains are now, and I think the Hotel was between the Arch and the main station buildings.

    I like the concourse of the new Euston station, I think it's something quite rare in '60s architecture, a building which both looks good and works well, though it's been somewhat cluttered up with added 'junk' since it was originally built. I also Quite like the circular Amtrak concourse at Penn Station, but the various passageways are not so good.

    I never saw the old Penn Station, first visit was in April 2002, but the pictures with the stairs leading down to the platforms under the high glass roof look rather like the East side of Liverpool Street used to be, from the entrance on Bishopsgate.

    The waiting room at Hoboken Terminal reminds me somewhat of the old Great Hall at Euston.

  11. #2366


    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    I'll take a Target over the Bag Man, Cinderella Club,. Dolce Fashion and Wendy's. In fact, I'd much prefer a big transparent glass box over this hodgepodge of junk. They make the area look like mierda.

    Although I would not expect London-style quality in a city that does everything cheap, something like this new development on Oxford Street would be a nice replacement for this junk.

    This gem on Canon Street would be a nice replacement for the crap on W34th too.
    Well, whatever you build you will never be able to please everybody, because tastes vary. Personally, I think both of those are hideous, the first one looks like a loaf of bread and the second one maybe an electrical substation or something, but I quite like the row of shops that you dislike.

  12. #2367


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Furley View Post
    the first one looks like a loaf of bread...

  13. #2368


    Stephen Furley,

    I respect your opinion, but it seems like bed bug city is your kind of town and fashionable London is mine. I wish that NY would copy the capital of the world. NY has the potential for greatness, but it pursues sloth instead.

  14. #2369


    Quote Originally Posted by avngingandbright View Post
    I wonder how much more it would cost to just rebuild Penn Station.
    Given the years of plans which have so far come to nothing, probably less. From the pictures of the original station much of it is just empty space, which doesn't cost much to build (but doesn't earn much either.

    If the people of New York wanted a replica of the original station they could have it. The MSG people were prepared to move if the conditions were right. Re-building the station wouldn't be difficult, there are plenty of pictures of it, I wouldn't be surprised if the original plans still exist somewhere. We're not talking about a lost city, built by some ancient civilisation thousands of years ago, Penn Station was built quite recently, still within living memory of a few people. If it could be built in 1910, then it could be built today - if people wanted to build it. Making and erecting steelwork is quick, and not difficult, even in rather more complicated shapes used in some modern buildings. You might have to settle for a welded and bolted structure, rather than a riveted one, but it could have fake rivet heads if you wanted it to.

    Stone is still obtainable, and widely used in construction of modern buildings; the technology exists to shape it, and it could probably be done quicker today using CNC machinery etc. than it was in 1910. I wonder if the moulds for the original plasterwork still exist? The ones for some long lost decoration on the walls of a London Cinema still existed a few years ago when it was decided to re-create them. Certain preserved railways who wanted new material woven for the seats in ancient carriages they were restoring discovered that the suppliers still had the original cards for the looms available, and were able to use them to weave a new batch. Even if the moulds weren't available, it wouldn't be too difficult to make new ones. There may even be similar decoration in another building from which an impression could be taken. The eagles could probably be bought back, and other parts of the station still exist.

    I wouldn't expect any of the old columns to be usable; the people wanting to have the Euston Arch in London rebuilt, it was demolished at just about the same time as Penn Station, were very excited when they discovered that many of the stones had been used to fill a hole in the bed of a river in East London. They even sent a diver down, and a stone was brought up. They said it was in good condition, but a large part of it was missing, and there were also several large chips out of it. Film of the demolition of the arch also clearly shows major damage to the stones, and I suspect the same would apply to the stone from the Penn Station columns.

    The story of Euston Station has many similarities with that Of Penn Station; both were demolished, against much protest, at about the same time. Both were replaced by buildings which many people disliked, and thought were far inferior to the ones they replaced, though I quite like the new Euston, and parts of the new Penn Station. Euston Station was a much older building, dating back to 1837. In both cases, the outcry against the demolition was said to have contributed to the preservation of other historic stations nearby, Grand Central Terminal in New York and St. Pancras in London.

    It would be expensive, but compared to some of the other costs being talked about, such as the renovation of the existing MSG, not totally impossible. How many adults are there who live or work in NYC? How much would each of them have to pay, possibly spread over several years, to pay for this? If people wanted this, they could have it, but I don't hear many people asking for it. People seem to want tall office towers; aren't there enough of those in Manhattan already?

    I'm not sure you would want to re-build the station in it's original form; the main problems with the station today seem to be with the platforms and the stairways leading to them, which are as they were in the original station, and therefore would not be improved by rebuilding the station as it was. People seem to want either a pretty roof over the station, or lots of office space which they will make lots of money (will we still need so much office space in the future?) but a station which works well as a transport facility doesn't seem to be high on the list of priorities.

  15. #2370


    If I had to choose a city whose development NY should emulate, it would have to be Barcelona.

    I don't even consider London an attractive city. Yes it has some nice historic areas, but there are dozens of other cities that blow London out of the water. Just look at all the junk in the rendering LL posted. Also, the streetscape around that tower seems pretty dead; that is not what we should emulate.

    What's great about London's cityscape is that it's interesting and the buildings bring in a great mix of people.

    And I think those little 34th street stores are interesting. Even if they're run down, that stretch of 34th street has more buzz and life than almost anyplace anywhere.
    If you can't see beyond the facades of buildings then you're missing what great cities are about.
    Last edited by Derek2k3; September 12th, 2010 at 03:30 PM.

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