Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to fix Penn Station? Architects: Rebuild the original

Larry Higgs reports for

A plan to recreate the architectural masterpiece that was the original Penn Station, built in 1910 and demolished in the mid 1960s, could solve some of the overcrowding and delay issues that plague commuters on a daily basis, said supporters of the idea.
The proposal by the National Civic Art Society, would build a replica of the original station, which featured Roman inspired architecture and columns, soaring interior spaces and skylights that earned it the nickname, "the temple of transportation."
The loss of the station spawned a preservation movement that was credited with saving Grand Central Terminal from demolition.
The proposal calls for replacing the current dismal subterranean Penn Station with a $3 billion to $3.5 billion replica, which could be constructed in five years to serve the 650,000 daily passengers that use Penn Station, said Justin Shubow, president of the National Civic Art Society, which proposed the project.
By contrast, the $4 billion World Trade Center transportation hub's Oculus, built by the Port Authority, only serves 60,000 people a day, Shubow said.
The recreated Penn Station could be financed with bonds, the selling of air rights, and the creation of a redevelopment and revenue capture district, similar to one proposed by the Municipal Arts Society in a 2013 report, he said.
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