With a little more than two years to go before Penn Station is transformed into the brand-new Moynihan Train Hall, some new details about the revamp are being brought to light—specifically, new renderings and specs for an entrance at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue, which will function as the main entrance of the train depot.
The entry, to be known officially as the East End Gateway, will lead passengers into the Long Island Rail Road concourse via an open, airy atrium with three escalators. It will be “literally the first time you will have illumination and light in that concourse in over 50 years,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who unveiled new renderings at a press conference earlier today.
“Passengers will be able to come in that entrance and avoid the front of Penn Station, there will be less traffic and you’ll have access to the subway and the LIRR,” Cuomo said. “It will be a gateway to a world class facility. This is not a proposal—we are getting to work now.”
There will be improvements above and below ground as part of the finalized plans for the entrance. At street level, there will be a new public plaza on 33rd Street—where some pedestrian-only access already exists—as well as a glass atrium with a 32-foot-tall overhang. Underground, the entrance will lead to a concourse with taller ceilings and wider floorplans—a boon for LIRR riders, who currently use one of the most cramped and claustrophobia-inducing parts of Penn Station.
According to Cuomo, this particular part of the larger Penn project will cost $600 million, with part of that coming from the MTA’s capital budget. The whole Penn Station revamp is expected to cost $1.6 billion, with funds coming from a variety of private firms and state agencies. Construction on the new station is well underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.