The spacious, glass-ceilinged hall brings much-needed breathing room to the nation's busiest train station.
Almost three decades after plans first started coalescing around New York's Moynihan Station, the long-awaited, $1.6 billion project finally opened to the public on January 1, 2021. "Sometimes Godot shows up," quips Justin Davidson in Curbed.
The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall, with its soaring glass ceilings and marble floors, seeks to evoke the romance of European train stations and ease the crush of commuters that, until now, had to squeeze through the dim and narrow hallways of Penn Station, the country's busiest train hub. The hall, which took over the Farley Post Office Building, will serve as a waiting room for Amtrak and Long Island Rail passengers making their way through Penn Station.
While the spacious design and modern amenities make the travel experience more pleasant, some transit advocates argue that, without any improvements in train service or added platforms to increase efficiency, the project amounts to a purely cosmetic change. Yet it's possible that Penn Station's visual makeover can have a meaningful impact on a city amenity that has long been viewed as a stopgap. This first step could jumpstart future improvements and create the civic and political will to "civilize it, rebuild it, maybe even expand it."
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.