The highly anticipated opening of Moynihan Train Hall inside the former James A. Farley Post Office is set for January 1st, 2021, with Governor Cuomo announcing that construction will be completed by December 31st, 2020. Untapped New York will take a deep look at the newly opened station, and uncover what remains of the original 1910 Penn Station building, on our upcoming Remnants of Penn Station walking tours and virtual talk on the past, present and future of Penn Station. Plans for the post office transformation and much-needed upgrades to Penn Station were first released back in 2016, and on Friday, the public will get to see those plans come to life. You can get a sneak peek of Amtrak’s new space within the new train hall in the virtual animation below!
Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge, Architecture and Interiors: FXCollaborative
One of the most exciting features of the new Train Hall, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, is a 92-foot-high skylight that hangs above an atrium roughly the size of Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall. The skylight will bring natural light, something Penn Station commuters have always wanted, into the train hall. Seventeen tracks accessible from the new train hall will serve all LIRR and Amtrak trains. The station also features comfortable ticketing and waiting areas with new food and retail options. State-of-the art way-finding LED and LCD displays will give riders all of the information they need about incoming and outgoing trains and free public Wi-Fi will be available throughout the station.
Moynihan Train Hall Atrium, Image via Governor Andrew Cuomo, Image credit SOM
In a statement, Governor Cuomo said, “This monumental accomplishment is a shot of hope as we come out of one of darkest periods in our history and sends a clear message to the world that while we suffered greatly as a result of this once-in-a-century health crisis, the pandemic did not stop us from dreaming big and building for the future. The new Moynihan Train Hall is the embodiment of New York Tough.” Reimagining the Farley Post Office as a transit hub is an idea that first came to light decades ago, but did not get started until 2017. The new train hall is named for late United States Senator and Navy veteran Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who originally advocated the idea of constructing a train depot at one end of the Farley Post Office.
The $1.6 billion project is the result of a public-private partnership between Empire State Development, Vornado Realty Trust, Related Companies, Skanska, the MTA/LIRR, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and via a design-build partnership. The public will finally get to see the end results at the beginning of the new year, after three years of construction.
Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge Balcony, Architecture and Interiors: FXCollaborative
Throughout construction, we have seen parts of the project open to the public. A new west-end LIRR concourse opened in 2017 and a new seventh avenue entrance to Penn Station was revealed in the summer of 2019. More upgrades are still on the way for Penn Station, including a new entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue. While many new additions are coming to the transit hub, there are also some remnants that will disappear. Over the summer, it was announced that Facebook would be taking over all of the office space in the old post office building.
Image via Amtrak
Explore the new Moynihan Train Hall, and see remnants left over from the original Penn Station opened in 1910 by joining us on an upcoming Remnants of Penn Station walking tour led by Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers!
Can’t make it to an in-person tour? Join Justin for a virtual tour talk on the Remnants and Future of Penn Station on January 6th presented for Untapped New York Insiders! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and get two months free with code JOINUS, then membership is just $10/month. A video of the tour will also be made available to all our Insiders afterward in the Video Archive section of our website. Already an Insider, register here!