Yesterday, in a ribbon cutting ceremony, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and United States Senator Charles Schumer marked the official opening of the West End Concourse of Moynihan Train Hall, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). The concourse, the first phase of the redevelopment of New York City’s Penn Station, provides access to 17 of the station’s 21 tracks and will link the future Moynihan Train Hall to Penn Station. The second phase of the project, the redesign of the Train Hall, is anticipated to open in 2020.
In making his announcement yesterday, Governor Cuomo said, “The state-of-the-art infrastructure, technology upgrades, and wayfinding improvements of the expanded West End Concourse will provide immediate relief for passengers enduring increasing congestion and overcrowding in Penn Station and help New Yorkers get to where they need to go better and faster."
Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The expanded West End Concourse will take tremendous pressure off of the overcrowded Penn Station complex, and attract visitors and community residents to the food, shopping, and grandeur of the entire complex. Once complete, Moynihan Station is poised to be one of the greatest transportation and infrastructure legacies of our generation.”
SOM’s design of the new West End Concourse significantly increases the concourse space in the station complex, improves pedestrian access with new station entries on Eighth Avenue, relieves congestion by providing access to the western ends of existing platforms, and transforms the travel experience for hundreds of thousands of Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road riders. The integration of digital lighting and wayfinding displays throughout the concourse make an informative and enjoyable environment. This state-of-the-art transportation facility creates a public space that offers a tangible link to New York’s grand history while adding much-needed capacity to the region’s rail system.
SOM has been involved with envisioning the future of the region's rail infrastructure since the 1970s, when the firm established architectural design standards for Amtrak's 456-mile Northeast Corridor and realized improvements to 15 major passenger stations along the route.
Since Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s proposal more than two decades ago to convert McKim, Mead & White’s 1913 James A. Farley Post Office into a 21st-century train station, SOM has had a leading role in the design of the monumental civic project. In 1999, SOM presented its first design for Moynihan Station, a proposal that featured a parabolic, glass-and-steel canopy and a multilevel concourse that revealed train movement below. A second design proposal followed in 2007, with a higher glass canopy supported by a thin steel structure. In 2010, SOM was awarded a contract to design the station’s West End Concourse.
As part of Phase Two of the Moynihan Train Hall redesign, an iconic new skylight will enclose the new boarding concourse, arching up from massive original steel trusses that span the internal courtyard. Melding old and new, SOM’s design establishes a grand civic space that celebrates the unique history of the Farley Building while evoking the vaulted concourse of the original Penn Station.
"Our design for Moynihan Train Hall culminates a long-held vision to create a new transportation hub that serves not only as a suitable entry and departure point to our magnificent city, but also a destination unto itself," stated Roger Duffy, Design Partner at SOM. "We are honored to have been involved with this project since its inception and look forward to continuing to make Moynihan Train Hall a new landmark for New York City."
The connection of the monumental Farley Post Office Building, a Beaux-Arts landmark on Eighth Avenue, with New York City’s Penn Station, will extend the Penn Station complex west to Ninth Avenue and beyond, anchoring the burgeoning development of Manhattan’s Far West Side and providing a reinvigorated gateway to the entire Northeast Corridor and New York State.
The $1.6 billion project is being funded with $550 million from the state, $420 million from Amtrak, the MTA, the Port Authority and federal grants, and $630 million from the joint venture developers, Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska USA.
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.