Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
Verdant spirals, heroic domes, river views and, of course, speedy trains: these are some of the possibilities imagined, and visualized in a challenge to redesign Penn Station. Have a look at what four top architecture firms dreamed up.
[UPDATE: See below for Madison Square Garden's none-to-pleased response to the renderings.]
The busiest train station in America is a cramped warren with a glorious legacy. As WNYC's own Jim O'Grady whimsically documented in this video, Penn Station is in drastic need of an overhaul. Some plans are already in the works (see renderings), but the Municipal Arts Society wants to push some boundaries of what's possible.
The civic group invited four proposals for re-imagining Penn Station and the stadium that sits on top of it, as well as the grand post office across the street, the site of the future Moynihan Station.
Four architecture firms submitted the renderings below that demonstrate "there are a range of practical and liberating possibilities for an expanded, world-class Penn Station and a great new Madison Square Garden. They have set a brilliant and achievable standard to serve commuters, fans, and the future of Manhattan’s west side and the City itself,” said Vin Cipolla, president of The Municipal Art Society.
A spokesman from the Madison Square Garden Company replied, in part:
“It’s curious to see that there are so many ideas on how to tear down a privately owned building that is a thriving New York icon, supports thousands of jobs and is currently completing a $1 billion transformation. These pie-in-the-sky drawings completely ignore the fact that no viable plans or funding to rebuild Penn Station and relocate MSG actually exist. Not that long ago, MSG spent millions of dollars and three years exploring a move to the Farley building as part of the new vision for Moynihan Station. That plan collapsed for a number of reasons that did not involve MSG, but did involve many of the same people now pressuring MSG to move, including The Municipal Art Society, which created enormous obstacles to achieving the relocation.”
Renderings are on exhibit at the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan.
Here's a slideshow: