The Future of Penn StationMay 28, 2021 10:30AM ● By Tina Woods
When Pennsylvania Railroad President Alexander Johnston Cassatt designed the initial Penn Station in 1901, the illusion was of grandeur, modeling the idea of the recently constructed Parisian railroad. The initial design incorporated and visually mirrored the US Post Office on Eighth Avenue, which used to sort the mail that was shipped by rail.
Since then, modifications have been made to the structure’s interior and exterior, but no extensive or large-scale renovations have been proposed until now.
Two alternate plans recently revealed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the area’s major transit agencies envision the use of glass atriums to allow natural light to fill the hub, similar to the new Moynihan Train Hall on Eighth Avenue.
One of the plans would retain the station’s two-level boarding configuration but would add a central atrium and a new entrance on Eighth Avenue, with wider concourses and multiple access points to train platforms. This plan would require the purchase of Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
The second plan would create an open, single-level concourse larger than the iconic Great Hall of Grand Central Terminal, with two new entrances on Seventh Avenue and a multistory atrium in a former taxiway between the station and adjacent 2 Penn Plaza, which has been closed since 9/11.
There is also a proposal to add new train tracks south of Penn Station once a new rail tunnel is built between New York and New Jersey. This project—considered crucial to expanding capacity—would require federal approval and funding to begin construction, which is expected to take six to seven years to complete.
What does this mean for residents of New Jersey? Easier accessibility to the Empire State through more contemporary means and facilities. In the bigger picture, it’s projected to lead to the continued relocation of urban residents to the New Jersey suburbs, where they’re seeking a better quality of life using all the Garden State has to offer—even its transit system!
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For assistance in relocation to top-rated residential neighborhoods of New Jersey that utilize the direct NJ Transit system into Manhattan, contact Natural Awakenings Editor-in-Chief and NJ Real Estate Agent, Tina Woods. As a former New Yorker, living in New Jersey, and Zillow Premier agent, Tina can help you unlock the future of your dreams.
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