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MAS Testifies at First Public Hearing on Moynihan Station

Last night the Municipal Art Society testified at the Empire State Development Corporation’s public hearing about Moynihan and Penn Station Redevelopment project. The hearing, held in the Farley Post Office building, was focused on the draft scope of work for the environmental review. According to the ESDC, 25 people testified (click here to read testimony of some of the members of Friends of Moynihan Station).

In the testimony Lisa Kersavage said the redevelopment of The Farley Post Office to create a new Moynihan Train Station and a new Penn Station are the most critically important civic projects in New York City today. Kersavage noted that in this public-private partnership, the state needs to be the guardian of the public’s interest and also actively engage the public in the process.

Kersavage said that one fundamental and overarching problem MAS had in analyzing the scope is that the document was not accompanied by a detailed general project plan or conceptual renderings. The lack of conceptual plans makes engaging the public in a meaningful way challenging at best, she said.

Other points in the testimony included:

  • MAS support for the “Moynihan Station Subdistrict” alternative.
  • The necessity to keep excess bulk off the Moynihan East block, in order to ensure adequate space for the train station and to limit major train disruptions during construction.
  • The need to Safeguard the Farley Post Office building and retain the post office use.
  • The need for the state to adequately identify historic buildings in the Moynihan Station subdistrict. MAS released a map of historic buildings in the subdistrict. Click here to download the map.
  • The need for an East/West transportation system that would connect Sixth Avenue and Penn Station to the River. With the Hudson Yards Rezoning, Hudson Yards East and the proposed Moynihan Station subdistrict, nearly 55 million square feet of potential development rights will be created between Sixth Avenue and the river – larger than downtown Seattle or San Diego. There are currently no transportation systems to connect Penn Station to the new city that will rise to the east.