This afternoon Governor Andrew Cuomo cut the ribbon on New York City’s new Moynihan Train Hall, a major piece of the governor’s Empire Station Complex. The new station, which will house ticketing offices, waiting rooms and platforms for the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak, and new food and retail spaces, is inside the former James A. Farley Post Office. Trains will arrive and depart from the new train hall starting January 1st, 2021. You can explore the new train hall and what’s left of Penn Station’s original structure on an upcoming Untapped New York walking tour or join us for a deep dive into Penn and Moynihan’s past and future in our upcoming virtual talk. Check out photographs from today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for a first look inside the new train hall, and watch footage from inside the new station in the video below!
All photographs and video footage Courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Along with Moynihan Train Hall’s opening, LIRR riders will have a new way to get into Penn Station. A new East End Gateway will open on December 31st at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, allowing commuters a direct entrance to the LIRR concourse. This new entrance is one of many upgrades to Penn Station, including a new west-end LIRR concourse opened in 2017 and a new seventh avenue entrance to Penn Station that was revealed in the summer of 2019.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Governor Cuomo emphasized how important the new train hall’s opening is for the spirit and the future of New York City. “We don’t accept mediocrity,” the governor said, “We are New York. We are the best. We will rise, and we will be stronger. That’s what this hall says to me.”
Designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, the new train hall boasts a 92-foot-high skylight that hangs above an atrium roughly the size of Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall. Supported by three of the building’s original steel trusses, the skylight is made of an acre of glass. The concave skylight is reminiscent of the vaulted concourse of the original McKim, Mead, and White designed Penn Station demolished in 1963. The main atrium used to be the sorting area of the Farley Post Office. 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 systems, and free public Wi-Fi.
Courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Throughout the new train hall, commuters will see artwork from three of the world’s leading artists—Stan Douglas, Kehinde Wiley, and the duo Elmgreen & Dragset. Thanks to a partnership with the Public Art Fund, the train hall will be home to a permanent ceiling installation by Wiley and entrance pieces by Elmgreen & Dragset‘s, and a photo series by Douglas that appears in the passenger waiting area adjacent to the main boarding concourse.
Another artistic feature of the new station is a six-foot by 12-foot clock designed by Pennoyer Architects. The clock’s design is meant to evoke the golden age of rail travel. That theme is carried out further in the use of more than 80,000 square feet of Tennessee marble in the train hall’s floors and walls. Moynihan’s marble was sourced from the same quarries that provided marble for Grand Central Terminal over 100 years ago.
Courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office
Plans for the post office transformation and much-needed upgrades to Penn Station were first released back in 2016, but the original idea was first conceived decades ago. The new hall is named for the late United States Senator and Navy veteran Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who originally advocated the idea of constructing a train depot at the Farley Post Office. The opening of Moynihan Tran Hall marks the competition of $1.6 billion 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, and the end of three years of construction.
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!