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Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a long-awaited and much-needed proposal for a makeover of Penn Station. Designed by SOM, the proposal for the new Penn Station–Farley Complex, to be completed in 2020, offers a pragmatic solution to the years of scrapped schemes and political stalling. However, The New York Times believes that Governor Cuomo’s proposal could be pushed further. The newspaper thus commissioned Vishaan Chakrabarti of PAU to come up with an alternative proposal to challenge Governor Cuomo’s plans. Currently, Penn Station is buried underground beneath Madison Square Garden. It accommodates over 600,000 passengers per day, more than twice as many as JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports combined, yet the station remains unsafe and unpleasant to visit. Cuomo’s plan for the new Penn Station centers upon the construction of the Moynihan Train Hall, which will be built where the Farley Post Office Building currently stands. Chakrabarti raises the concern that the vast majority of the traffic will still take place under the Garden, as that is where people are funneled through, especially with the expected construction of the Gateway project which will add new platforms to the South of the existing platforms. Hence, the logic that the new monumental hall should be built across the street from the busiest area of Penn Station is, indeed, somewhat flawed.  View more View full description
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