Moses, Reprised: An Ambitious Plan for Expanding LaGuardia Airport

John Leland provides coverage of a big idea by Jim Venturi, the son of architects Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, for the renovation and expansion of LaGuardia International Airport in New York.

November 11, 2014, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Jim Venturi's idea for LaGuardia is presented as Robert Moses-inspired aspirational planning versus today's culture of naysayers. The plan, as proposed by Venturi and described by John Leland for the new York Times: "a massive, 22-track rail station and airport terminal in Port Morris, and put the gates [for LaGuardia] on Rikers — connected by a shuttle train, as at the airports in Atlanta and Denver? The present La Guardia space could then accommodate four runways instead of the current two, with extensions into the East River to lengthen them."

There's more: "another transit hub in Sunnyside, joining the subways that already stop there — the E, M, N, R, Q and 7 trains — with new connections to Metro-North, Amtrak, the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit? The rail lines could continue to Penn Station in one direction, and up to the new La Guardia superstation in the other. (He’d extend the new Second Avenue subway up there as well.)"

There is more as well, and while Venturi is still looking for an architect and/or planning firm to partner with to submit the proposal to a design competition recently announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Leland's article invites readers to ponder their own politics on the issue of making large, expensive plans, without worrying about obstacles.

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