The time is now.
How do we improve the lives of a million people each day?
These people and a million more use, live and work near Penn Station every day. How can we make something so central to so many people’s lives a better place?
Perhaps a better question is, “Where would MSG want to be?”
A place that is close to transit, connected to existing tourist, hospitality and entertainment attractions; A place that provides an enhanced patron experience, better service and functional access; and a place that creates a singular new identity for the Garden.
Of all the locations that have been considered, we believe one site at the western end of 34 th St meets these criteria.
Partnering with appropriate government agencies, Pier 76, now the Tow Pound, could be extended south to 33 rd Street, creating a 16 acre site on the Hudson where MSG could be located.
But how would you get there?
The new 7 Flushing line subway will stop at 11 th Ave and 34th Street and a park promenade would bring people up and over 12 th Ave to the Arena’s front door.
A LIRR station could be created in the northern part of the LIRR yard.
A Metro-North station could be built underground here .
NY Waterway’s 39th Street ferry terminal is next door, with service to New Jersey.
There could even be a new bikeway and elevated pedestrian walk, call it the Water Line, connecting Hudson River Park, 42 nd Street, the West Side and back to Penn.
Finally, if you extend the 7 Line back to Penn Station, loop it under Park Avenue to Grand Central – you could create a “7 Circle Line” connecting east and west midtown with all major subway and regional train lines.
This site puts MSG near all the attractions, hotels and restaurants that feed the city’s $55B tourist, entertainment and medi a industries.
Most importantly, locating MSG next to the Javits Convention Center would stimulate new thinking about hosting large scale conventions, trade shows and special events in the city.
With MSG as an anchor to the west, we can re-imagine Penn Station.
By far the busiest on the Northeast Corridor, the current facility is way beyond capacity.
Amtrak and NJ Transit have a plan, called Gateway, that builds two new tunnels under the Hudson, feeding into Penn Station. NJ Transit could run more trains thru and we can connect to our new 7 Circle line right next door.
Amtrak’s high speed rail trains would use these tunnels and continue north to Boston.
To the north, we can provide space for the growing number of commuter bus services, increasing mobility for everyone in the region.
These new connections will transform the way we think of the Northeast Corridor. While the Acela takes three hours to get to DC now, and three and a half to get to Boston.
Future high speed trains will cut that down to 90 minutes each way.
If Penn Station can be reconfigured to provide better access to the region, it would allow the Farley Post Office building, also known as Moynihan Station, to be used differently.
The Farley Building could be converted into a Center for Education. Drawing students from throughout the Tri-state region, it will help train employees for high-value high-demand industries.
SECTION LOOKING NORTH
Without compromising access to the trains below, Amtrak’s West Concourse will be an entrance to the train platforms from 8 th Ave, and the Post Office windows remain in the original lobby. The rest of the building would be academic classrooms, support spaces and labs.
These are grand plans, but how do we pay for them?
To add to the required contribution of public funding, one method is to allocate large footprint development sites at the four corners of the station.
These buildings would be designed, not strictly as commercial office towers, but as hybrid buildings, offering diverse activities which are essential to sustainable growth and urban cultural vitality.
6 acres of active public space provides increased value on the ground as well.
In addition, several sites along 7th Avenue could be upzoned to convert these sites into mixed use developments, extending the renewal of Times Square and 42 nd Street south to 34th.
In Manhattan, there are few sites big enough that could accommodate the Arena. And even fewer that aren’t held by private in terests. 12 Ave next to Javits has always felt like the West Side’s backyard.
How can we flip this to make the area more accessible? Extend the existing pier south, and service the Arena at grade. The park promenade rises up and crosses over 12 Ave. Patrons will enter the Arena at this level. The Water Line would provide two other means of access.
Below, Hudson River Park’s shoreline will be restored to encourage marine life. Javits could pursue the expansion plan it shelved 5 years ago, expanding its capacity to be one of the top 10 centers in the country.
With MSG relocated, Penn Station could become a true multimodal transportation center.
With the ACE and 123 trains adjacent, and the 6 TH Ave, Broadway and PATH trains nearby, the key is getting passengers distributed as quickly as possible.
That means straightening and expanding the Exit Concourses where passengers first arrive. Extending those Concourses to accommodate the new Penn South platforms and the West Concourse under the Farley Building steps would be completed.
The number 7 Circle line would anchor the south end of the new station complex .
Gimbel’s passageway would be expanded to connect to subways and PATH trains at Herald Square.
The station itself would have a central departure and waiting room concourse.
All the train services would be clearly marked and accessed from.
The Train Hall above ground would span above, extending from 34 th to 30th St. A retail concourse extends towards 8th Ave and on 7th Ave, a three acre park. On the roof, another 3 acre roof garden.
This bottom to top transformation of Penn Station will make connections easier and clearer. There will be enough space to accommodate the crowds and the station will have the architectural distinction to match Grand Central.
Across 8th Ave, the Farley Building will be converted into the Center for Education at Moynihan Station.
The Water Line would provide a bicycle and pedestrian connection and we would restore the building’s interior spaces and prov ide expansion space.
Rezoning the four sites will allow a significant new tower at 34 th and 7th , a supertall skyscraper, 180 stories tall. Altogether, these sites would total 14M sf.
Eight additional sites along 7th Ave would provide 10M sf more.
On 7th Ave, a park spanning 3 blocks in front of the station, an incredible open space in an area of Midtown that is lacking in them .
In the Train Hall, 120’ high, large skylights capture daylight from above.
The west Exit Concourse. This open space reaches up to daylight and air.
The retail concourse above has three levels of shops, restaurants and amenities to service both the station and the district.
Above the retail, a three acre stepped garden and a rooftop gallery space is accessible directly from 8 th Ave. It’s a sunlit horticultural garden, fragrant, colorful, and green, overlooking the west side with views of the river beyond. The Water Line extends west from the terrace connecting to the MSG promenade.
Here’s MSG’s spectacular new home, it remains the center of sports, entertainment, media and pop culture in the city – with concerts, dog shows, the circus, and the Rangers, Liberty and Knicks.
These new buildings will define the new skyline of New York. Located in the center of the city, Penn Station will be the heart of a 50 million person metropolis.
This group of people, just a few of the million who use Penn Station each day, will have better lives if we make the changes in this plan. A new Penn Station can make life better for the people who use it, and the rest of the city.
The time is now.
Pascale Baladi Abby Carlen Ariel Fausto John Fontillas Eric Galipo Hugh Hardy Geoff Lynch Brennan Plunkett James Willeford