Bruce Ratner gets the go-ahead to start tearing things down in Brooklyn, and suddenly every other arena owner gets antsy. Witness the news that the Dolan Family, the owners of Madison Square Garden who famously pulled out all the stops last year to block the Jets arena designs on the nearby West Side railyards, want to build a new arena across the street. The irony is so thick, even Jane Jacobs would have to laugh:
Under the proposed agreement, the Garden would move to the western half of the block-long James A. Farley Building, the post office that is being transformed into a $930 million transit hub to be a gateway to New York City... Moving the Garden would open up the possibility of transforming the dowdy site where the Garden now sits, on Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. The developers, Stephen M. Ross of Related Companies and Steven Roth of Vornado Realty Trust, would replace the current arena with a pair of skyscrapers and an elaborate glass skylight that would open up the crowded Pennsylvania Station down below, according to the officials and executives.Let's get this straight. Decades ago, they tore down the glory that was the original Penn Station to build the current MSG, and now that there's finally a plan to restore grandeur to one of the city's major transit hubs, now is the time to tear the old arena down, intrude on the restoration across the street, and, for the sheer hell of it, shine some light into the dingy Amtrak basement they're leaving behind? Oh, sweet glory.
· Madison Square Garden Owners Discuss One-Block Move [NYTimes]
· Photographs of McKim Mead & White Penn Station [NYC Architecture Images]