SOM reveals images of grand hall for New York's Penn Station


US architecture firm SOM has released new images of the proposed Moynihan Train Hall expansion at New York’s Pennsylvania Station, which would turn an old post office into a grand waiting room for Amtrak.

The 486,000-square-foot (45,000-square-metres) hall would feature a curved glass roof set inside the 1903 Farley Post Office building, originally designed by McKim, Mead & White.

SOM reveals new images of Penn Station

The long-stalled project was recently revived by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as a part of the larger renovation of Pennsylvania Station (Penn Station), which is located across the street from the Farley Post Office Building.

The Moynihan Train Hall renovation would accommodate passengers of the national railway, Amtrak, alleviating congestion in the existing station facility.

It would feature four bays of arched glass roofing springing from existing steel trusses.

Behind the waiting room, a second area, also featuring a glazed roof, would be converted into a shopping and dining arcade.

SOM reveals new images of Penn Station

The plan also calls for new wheelchair accessible entrances flanking the building's monumental staircases.

A new block-wide pedestrian tunnel would be built under 33rd Street connecting Moynihan with Penn Station.

SOM reveals new images of Penn Station

The governor’s proposal calls for a $325 million injection of government funds into the $3 billion total project, of which Moynihan Hall is just one part.

Cuomo is currently soliciting real estate development proposals that would bridge the funding gap in exchange for control of the retail space and air rights at the station to build residential or office building nearby.

SOM reveals new images of Penn Station

Penn Station is the busiest train station in the US, with more than 650,000 daily users passing through it from intercity and commuter rail lines, as well as the New York City Subway.

Dangerously overcrowded, the current facility, which is located under the Madison Square Garden arena, is only designed to accommodate 200,000 daily riders.

SOM reveals new images of Penn Station
Image by SOM|Methanoia

The new waiting room is named after the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who championed the idea of bringing passengers into the Farley building. It was designed by the same architects as the original Pennsylvania Station, which was demolished in 1961.

SOM estimates the project could be completed by 2018.

Other recent railway stations include UN Studio's depot in Arnhem, the Netherlands, the Crossrail station at Canary Wharf in London by Foster + Partners, and a elevated train stop in Chicago wrapped in a perforated tube by Ross Barney Architects.

Images are by SOM|courtesy Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.

  • Reitmor

    Madison Square Garden really needs to move. That is the key to a new, appropriate, functional and beautiful Penn Station. (It will also give us a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex, which the current MSG never really was even when it was new.)

    The trouble with the SOM plan is that if it ever gets built, all the wind will go out of the sails of moving MSG in order to give NYC the Penn Station (and MSG) it deserves.

    The other thing is this, must we call it Moynihan Station? We have become like the Soviet Union naming public monuments after our crummy, two-bit politicians: the Javits Center, the Edward I Koch Bridge, the Robert F Kennedy Bridge, etc, etc. I shudder to think what monument will inflict the names of de Blasio and Bloomberg on us in perpetuity. The most egregious case of all was the Brendan Byrne Arena, which was named in Byrne’s honor while he was still in office. The hubris is unbearable. We are a free people in charge of our government and our destiny. Time to get up off our knees.

    The entire station complex will be connected underground. This is not a new station, it is an extension of the old one. The whole thing should retain the dignified and appropriate name of Pennsylvania Station, as it was the Pennsylvania Railroad whose heroic vision and planning created the present station even if the architecture has changed.

    • JayCee

      Because Murica…

  • JayCee

    Elegant roofs sitting on ugly trusses.

    • Reitmor

      I completely agree about the trusses. Surely they can do better.

      • John

        The truss in the rendering is representing the original truss in the Farley Post office. It is over 100 years old and looks absolutely amazing in person. It has similar details to the trusses original Penn Station.

        The trusses will remain and they will be the focal point of the new train hall.