The re-imagination of Penn Station has been a signature project of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with other infrastructure endeavors like the redesign of LaGuardia Airport). After years of teasing renderings and on-going construction inside the James A. Farley Post Office in its transformation into the new Moynihan Train Hall for Amtrak, significant work is finally underway for Penn Station proper. Over the last few days, we have watched the new entrances start to be built on 7th Avenue and 33rd Street.

Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In the area formerly activated by Plaza33, which has seen the temporary installation of Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein sculptures and various food and entertainment spaces over the years, will be a dramatic new modern entrance providing access into the Long Island Railroad main concourse and New York City subway, which also recently received a new entrance below ground to the 1/2/3 lines. This project, known as the “East End Gateway,” will add a second direct entrance to LIRR Main Concourse (the 34th Street entrance is the only direct way to get to the concourse currently without going through other jurisdictions of Penn Station, be it NJ Transit, Amtrak, or the NYC Subway). The new entrance will have three escalators, a stairway and an elevator. In addition, what we see under construction at the moment is a cantilevered overhang that will come off of the 7th Avenue facade of Madison Square Garden.

Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In addition, this project will result in additional changes to the interior of the LIRR 33rd Street Concourse, which will widened be from 30 feet to 57 feet, with an increased ceiling height from 7 to 8 feet in some areas to 18 feet. This means that long-standing art pieces like Maya Lin’s Eclipsed Time which is in the ceiling between McDonald’s and the NYC Subway entrance will have to be moved. Aaron Donovan, MTA’s Deputy Communications Director tells Untapped Cities, “We are in discussions with internationally renowned artist Maya Lin about the future of Eclipsed Time, which is located in an area that will be affected by this project.”

Maya Lin’s Eclipsed Time

That cast-iron partition in the waiting room of the Long Island Railroad will remain and be integrated with the reconstructed waiting area, much as it is now, Donovan also tells us. There is also work on-going around the ticket machines and ticket windows, including the closure of some ticket windows, a removal of the main departure board, and the relocation of ticket machines. It has been reported that the bar Tracks will close as well. The two eagles along 7th Avenue actually belong to Vornado, so we have reached out to the developer to get an update.

One of the 22 original eagles from Penn Station

Rendering courtesy Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Meanwhile, this may be one of your last chances to take a tour our popular tour of the Remnants of Penn Station with many of the remnants still viewable or intact in a location they have been in for decades. Join us this summer!

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

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