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Observer Editorial: Travesty on Eighth Avenue

farley post office columns

Today, The New York Observer published an editorial about the current state of the Moynihan Station project. Below is an excerpt:”

“More than a decade ago, the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan challenged New York to do something grand on Eighth Avenue. With the Postal Service pulling its operations out of the Farley Post Office, Moynihan proposed—and got funding for—a new Penn Station in the Farley building. During the ensuing years, designs were created, press releases issued, promises made—the project was even named for its sponsor, Senator Moynihan—and very little if anything has happened. The senator passed away nearly five years ago, his dream unfulfilled.”

“There is a chance now that it may never be realized. This newspaper reported on its Web site last week that the owners of Madison Square Garden, the Dolan family, may be reconsidering a plan to build a new Garden adjacent to the stalled Moynihan Station site. The Garden was not part of the senator’s original vision; the man just wanted a beautiful train station. But as the project expanded and contracted, new pieces, including the Garden, were folded into the plan. The Dolans, whose stewardship of the Garden and its teams has been incompetent at best, are part of the problem on Eighth Avenue. But they are hardly the only obstacle; Governor Eliot Spitzer has not managed to bring the competing groups together and forge a feasible solution.”

“The Moynihan Station project has turned into a $14 billion mega-development, and for comparison’s sake, consider that Boston’s Big Dig cost about $15 billion. That project took years before it came to fruition; it finally was finished just last month. But it got done.”

“Moynihan Station, by contrast, remains very much undone. Various government entities are beginning to send out signals that it may never get done.”

“At the close of his Senate career, Pat Moynihan remained dubious that his adopted city could, in fact, build on a heroic scale anymore. It would be a shame if his doubts proved correct.”