McManus's contrarian view has some merit. He is not totally callous - he admits that razing the glorious, 1910 train station was a "mistake", but...
Penn Station — like its East Side analogue, Grand Central Terminal — couldn’t stand on its own economically after the passing of America’s railroading era. Even now, Grand Central requires massive direct and indirect public subsidies to keep its architecturally inspiring nose above water.
McManus wrote the column to express several key points, among them:
And that brings out one of his main points - the renewal of Madison Square Garden's lease:
Alas, as the Regional Plan Association's press release points out, MSG did not get what they wanted.
The pursuit of a new Penn Station for New York took a significant step forward today following a recommendation by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to grant Madison Square Garden a permit to operate an arena at its current location for 10 years, rather than in perpetuity.
No doubt that decision left Bob McManus quite disappointed. Moynihan Station beat the threat from Madison Square Gardens. But will it remain the "pipe dream" that McManus calls it?