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Penn Station's New Public Plaza Is Actually Kind of Nice

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The design team that turned Times Square into an archipelago of pedestrian islands brought their expertise to Penn Station, where a new public plaza has been unveiled. The Snohetta-designed W Architecture and Landscape Architecture-designed plaza, located on 33rd Street between 7th Avenue and Madison Square Garden's loading dock, is part of landlord Vornado's plan to make the area surrounding Penn Station less of a hell hole (because lord knows that the actual station won't be improved any time soon), and so far, it seems to be working. Granted, the plaza has only been open for a day, but a mid-morning jaunt to the area did not incite feelings of dread or leave us in a murderous rage.

Most of the new plaza is simply painted road that gives pedestrians much more space, but there are also several wooden benches that double as planters and sculptures by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. There are also two sets of wooden steps, similar to the TKTS booth stairs in Times Square, and audio equipment indicated that they might be setting up for one of the promise performances.

UPDATE: While Vornado tapped Snohetta to remake the surrounding area, this plaza was designed by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, while Production Glue and Roadway Maintenance Contracting brought the plaza to life. You can check out the full calendar of events here.

On Friday, Untapped snapped a few photos of the plaza under construction, and according to a halal cart vendor on the plaza, today is the first day it opened to the public. Enjoy it while you can because it will only exist until October 11.

· Snohetta Tasked With Making Penn Station Area Less Awful [Curbed]
· Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring Sculptures Installed at New Plaza Coming to Penn Station [Untapped NY]