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New York City: Envisioning a New Penn Station, the Next Madison Square Garden, and the Future of West Midtown

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013


Executive Summary

Penn StationNew York and the tri-state region urgently need a new Penn Station and a new Madison Square Garden.

Penn Station is our region’s gateway. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through the station every day. The station, which replaced the original 1910 McKim, Mead and White Beaux Arts-style building,is severely overcrowded. Built to handle 200,000 travelers, the station now serves some half a million. As public transit use and our region’s population expand, even more people will be crammed into the station’s jammed corridors and stairwells.

Our region now has an opportunity to envision an improved civic experience and create a holistic plan for Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Midtown and the greater Northeastern region.

  • Penn Station is the critical infrastructure project of our time. Rather than a single building, a 21st-century Penn Station is a network of connected pieces. Moynihan Station is currently underway,and Amtrak has begun planning efforts on the Gateway project, which will expand Penn Station to the south. These investments should be coordinated in order to create an inclusive redevelopment strategy and maximize transit connectivity.
  • Much of the West Midtown district is significantly underdeveloped. Few of the area’s outdated office, retail and hotels contribute to New York City’s ability to retain its prominence and competitive position as a global business center. The Penn Station office district has the lowest overall rental rate of any of the Midtown submarkets. A new station would have dramatic impact by improving the quality of the surrounding district.
  • Ensuring the station’s viability is crucial, not only as part of planning for projected growth,but is also essential to the health and vitality of the city and region. Investing now will help keep New York competitive and ultimately create a better environment in which to work and live.
  • Building a new Penn Station has broad public support in New York. According to the 2013 MAS Survey on Livability, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, and conducted by the Marist Poll, 74% of New Yorkers say it should be a “top priority” or “an important consideration” for the next administration.
  • This report is the first in series that RPA and MAS will be issuing, investigating the economic, transportation and planning issues around Penn Station.

Transit Connections Near Penn Station:

Transit Connections Near Penn Station

Download full report (PDF): Penn 2023

About Regional Plan Association
“Regional Plan Association is America’s oldest and most distinguished independent urban research and advocacy group. RPA prepares long-range plans and policies to guide the growth and development of the New York- New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region. RPA also provides leadership on national infrastructure, sustainability, and competitiveness concerns. RPA enjoys broad support from the region’s and nation’s business, philanthropic, civic, and planning communities.”

About The Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC)
“The Municipal Art Society is New York’s leading organization dedicated to creating a more livable city. For 120 years, MAS—a nonprofit membership organization—has been committed topromoting New York City’s economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and social diversity. Working to protect the best of New York’s existing landscape, from landmarks and historic districts to public open spaces, MAS encourages visionary design, planning and architecture that promote resilience and the livability of New York.”


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