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New Penn Station: Building a Landmark for a New Century

penn station

Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, in association with Hugh Hardy, the New Penn Station has, at its heart, a gridded glass fan sheltering the main ticketing hall in the mid-section of the building. This signature feature clearly signals the entrance from points east and west. Passengers will descend from the concourse to the platforms below which are crowned by the building’s original skylight. The original Pennsylvania Station’s most cherished quality – the filtering of natural light down to the train tracks – will be recreated here in modern dress. The flagship post office at the top of the grand Eighth Avenue stairs will be carefully refurbished and new retail and passenger services will surround the station’s main rooms.

This is good news for all of the travelers who course through the present Penn Station, the busiest passenger transportation facility in the world. Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit service will remain in their present facility and will expand into the space formerly occupied by Amtrak. With more federal funding in the pipeline to meet the $484 million price tag, the project is expected to be completed in 2003.

Many of the features of the current plan fulfill the Society’s vision for a New Penn Station released in 1998, including a spacious mid-block ticketing hall, multiple entry points, and ample space to accommodate future train-to-the-plane service. “We are extremely excited to be involved in building a landmark for a new century,” MAS Chairman Philip K. Howard remarked, “Senator Moynihan’s vision of having an appropriate gateway to our great city will at last be realized.”

The New Penn Station photos courtesey of the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation