Governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out plans to transform New York's congested Pennsylvania Station and neighboring James A. Farley Post Office into a world-class transportation hub. Penn Station, North America's busiest train station, was originally designed in 1910 to accommodate 200,000; currently it's serving more than 650,000 passengers each day. Though a number of firms have been enlisted in the past to re-imagine the station, the project's developer has yet to chose an official architect.
“Penn Station is the heart of New York’s economy and transportation network, but it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State for far too long,” said Governor Cuomo. “We want to build Penn Station to be better than it ever was, and that is exactly what we are going to do. This proposal will fundamentally transform Penn Station for the 21st century, and we are excited to move forward with the project in the days to come.”
The $3 billion project plans to modernize the station by connecting it underground with the Farley Post Office, located across 8th Avenue from Penn Station. By joining the two buildings, Penn Station will become the "Empire Station Complex" - "one holistic and interconnected world-class station" with "first-class amenities, natural light, increased train capacity and decreased congestion, and improved signage to dramatically enhance the travel experience."
Penn Station itself, located beneath Madison Square Garden, will undergo significant renovation. Existing corridors will be widened, ticking and waiting areas will be reconfigured, connectivity will be enhanced, and retail opportunities will be expanded.
The Farley Post Office is slated to become a new train hall for Amtrak with services for passengers of the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and the new Air Train to LaGuardia Airport. By integrating the historic post office into the scheme, Penn Station's capacity will be increased by 50 percent.
"At 210,000 square feet, the train hall will be roughly equivalent in size to the main room at Grand Central Terminal," says the governor.
The project is aiming to break ground this year and complete by 2019.