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If You Build It:
News for Design & Construction Professionals

Timer Set on MSG Paves Way for Penn Station Redevelopment

Published by ​Tara Mulrooney on July 25, 2013

Yesterday marked a significant milestone in the intense debate over the future of two famous New York locales --- Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. In an almost unanimous 47 to 1 vote, the City Council approved only a 10-year special permit for Madison Square Garden to operate in its current location atop Penn Station. Often dubbed the world's most famous arena, The Garden battled to secure a permit to operate in perpetuity. This goal was challenged, and ultimately stymied, by a campaign of civic and community groups championing the relocation of the Garden in order to make room for a desperately needed overhaul of Penn Station. With the fate of the Garden sealed, now begins the arduous challenge for the next decade of raising the capital needed for the redevelopment of Penn Station and to keep the newly relocated Garden in the neighborhood. Not only will this future process of developing Penn Station and rebuilding the Garden elsewhere dramatically change the City landscape, it also offers numerous opportunities for the design and construction community to leave a significant impact in creating two future landmarks for the City.

The dream of a newly imagined Penn Station is already underway. In part of its push to win the battle against the Garden's forever permit, the Municipal Art Society of New York challenged four famous architects to submit plans for a newly envisioned, grander Penn Station. The cutting edge and inventive proposals all envisioned a multi-purpose venue with lots of green space. Highlights of the four proposed designs included: expanding the site's current footprint to include an eight-track high-speed rail, a three-acre public park, and a robust retail complex; creating a commercial development with towers, a sloping lawn four times the area of Bryant Park and a glistening glass dome rising from its center; creating a multilevel public space with amenities like a spa and a theater; and moving the entire complex to the West Side waterfront at 34th Street and including an elevated bike and pedestrian promenade and 16-acre park.

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