East End Gateway

East End Gateway New York Penn Station
East End Gateway
East End Gateway.

With its dramatic glass and steel canopy, this new entrance to Penn Station brings natural light to the underground concourses and establishes a clear gateway to New York’s busiest transit hub.

Project Facts
  • Status Construction In Progress
  • Completion Year 2020
  • Design Finish Year 2020
  • Size Building Height: 40 feet Building Gross Area: 150,000
  • Awards
    2021, SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Finalist, SEAoNY 2022, Structural Glass - Facades Award, USGlass Magazine 2021, Excellence in Structural Engineering Winner, Other Structures, National Council of Structural Engineers Association
  • Collaborators
    AECOM Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB) Via Collective
Project Facts
  • Status Construction In Progress
  • Completion Year 2020
  • Design Finish Year 2020
  • Size Building Height: 40 feet Building Gross Area: 150,000
  • Awards
    2021, SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Finalist, SEAoNY 2022, Structural Glass - Facades Award, USGlass Magazine 2021, Excellence in Structural Engineering Winner, Other Structures, National Council of Structural Engineers Association
  • Collaborators
    AECOM Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB) Via Collective

A first step toward a larger vision

SOM is playing a central role in reimagining New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, the busiest train station in the Western Hemisphere and a hub for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), New Jersey Transit, Amtrak, and two subway lines. SOM’s work, a series of dramatic interventions that are transforming the travel experience throughout the multi-block complex, reached a major milestone on the final day of 2020. Just hours before trains first rolled into the SOM-designed Moynihan Train Hall, the East End Gateway opened as a brand new entrance to Penn Station on Seventh Avenue.

East End Gateway
© Lucas Blair Simpson | SOM

The gateway, designed to bring the grandeur of Moynihan Train Hall to the eastern side of Penn Station, represents the first phase of a complete revamp of the LIRR concourses. It brings natural light into the concourses for the first time since the demolition of the original Penn Station in the 1960s, and establishes an easily identifiable eastern entrance that the station has lacked for decades.

Relieving congestion and enhancing the commute

The East End Gateway connects directly to the LIRR concourses from the street. With three escalators and a staircase, it nearly doubles the vertical circulation capacity of this overcrowded segment of the station. The entrance is set back 130 feet from the curb, making more sidewalk space for crowds and aligning directly with the Empire State Building to give views of the iconic landmark.

East End Gateway
© Lucas Blair Simpson | SOM

These views are framed by a monumental glass and steel canopy, which creates an urban presence for the station entrance and carries Moynihan Train Hall’s skylit aesthetic eastward. The structure, designed and built in collaboration with Skanska, AECOM, and Seele, rises in a gentle convex curve that reaches 40 feet above street level. Pre-tensioned steel cables support the smooth, high-performance glass enclosure. Underground, a map of New York State rings the steel spandrels and situates travelers within the region.

A revitalized station and district

The new entrance plays a larger role within its urban setting. It is a gateway not only into Penn Station, but to the reimagined Far West Side, from Manhattan West to Hudson Yards. When the next phase of the concourse overhaul is complete, in 2023, the capacity of the transit hub will be expanded even further. The concourse will be nearly doubled in width and the ceiling height will rise to 18 feet. The improvements will also include new, intuitive wayfinding, a new elevator on Seventh Avenue, and brighter lighting with enhanced air flow. Each of these elements seeks to  transform Penn Station into a destination and to reaffirm its role as a civic asset.

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