Dare to dream, but the transformation of Midtown's landmark Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Station train hub looks about as close to happening as it ever has, though that's probably not saying much. But let's just say Amtrak departs Penn Station for more comfy confines across Eighth Avenue. What will Moynihan Station look like? Global architecture giant HOK worked with James Carpenter Design Associates in 2005 on a tentative plan (right), and the Architect's Newspaper reports that HOK has been commissioned again to come up with "planning studies and possible designs." Though it's early in the game, some things are known:
For now, HOK’s plans envision Amtrak’s operations spanning both the original 1912 post office building and its 1934 annex, with the remainder of the program consisting of dining, retail (including potentially a big-box tenant like Target), and about 250,000 square feet for a post office. A grand main entrance would open onto 33rd Street, with two additional entrances on 8th Avenue and 32nd Street. In addition to moving Amtrak’s passengers into the Farley building, proposed renovations to the existing Penn Station would widen corridors and provide a pedestrian connection to a new station underneath 2 Penn Plaza, which will house New Jersey Transit’s planned Mass Transit tunnel across the Hudson.Sounds dandy, but where's the grandeur? The ArchPaper's Julia Galef continues:Like many post offices of the era, the Farley was built with a low roof so managers could monitor their employees from catwalks under the trusses, said HOK principal Wayne Striker. To create a sense of grandeur reminiscent of the original Penn Station, HOK is proposing to remove the building’s first floor, and is considering three options for replacing or re-using the current roof. One option would retain the existing trusses but replace their opaque cladding with glass skylights, preserving the current floor-to-ceiling height of 50 feet. A second option would retain only the east-west trusses and top them with a glass ceiling, while a third possibility would remove the current ceiling and install glass skylights suspended from new trusses at a height of about 100 feet.Natural light in a Midtown West train station? Now there's a revolutionary idea!
· Farley Bound [Architect's Newspaper]
· Moynihan Station coverage [Curbed]