For this hybrid post I present you with the opportunity to view images and videos of a rebuilt Penn Station alongside a plea for readers to nominate the best traditional buildings of 2022. Penn Station’s restoration is a genuine prospect, though alas not in 2022. As New York’s former lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, recenlty said, displaying maximum exasperation: “I hope somebody lets the governor know that the citizens of New York want this goddamn station rebuilt.” By now, it really is a matter of politics in a democracy. Surveys show the popularity of rebuilding Penn Station, so let’s allow democracy to work in the nation’s largest city on behalf of all Americans, living in NYC or elsewhere.
Below are images from ReThinkNYC.com’s latest press release on rebuilding Penn Station, which contains new and thrilling images and videos. And again, I ask that readers nominate buildings, completed in 2022, that give us hope that sanity might rule in architecture on some not too distant tomorrow.
ReThinkNYC’s press release, which also contains a video explaining “through-running,” a modernization of the station that will increase the efficiency of the regional train network and, by doing so, make restoring Penn Station more affordable. Press here to read the organization’s entire press release.
Also, here are Jeff Stikeman’s illustrations of what Penn Station rebuilt according to the designs of Charles Follen McKim, of McKim, Mead & White, would look like. (I’m getting the hang of this professional P.R. linkage thing!)
Now, here is ReThinkNYC’s video of how the Waiting Room of Penn Station would look after its restoration. The video was done by Nova Concepts, with support from Richard Cameron and Cezar Nicolescu. Don’t forget to hit the “full screen” button.
On the press release linked to above are video explaining ReThinkNYC’s proposal for “through running” at Penn Station and beyond. You may say that “through-running” defines “in the weeds” but it is vital for the future success of the entire regional train network. We forget that Penn Station is a terminal rather than a station that trains run through to other destinations. This is the definition of inefficiency and must change. Also, equally vital, is the relocation of Madison Square Garden, now squatting on Penn Station, whose lease is up next June. A video linked through the press release suggests potential locations for the arena.
But think, as you view all these options, how important rebuilding Penn Station would be to the revival of classical architecture for America. The construction of a beautiful new pair of classical campuses at Yale University held out the prospect for such a demonstration of classicism’s power and beauty, but it turns out that not so many people visit Yale beyond its student body. But those two campuses, by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, were and are nevertheless extraordinary examples of classicism, which were nominated for best trad building of 2017.
You, too, can nominate for best trad building of 2022! Email me an image of the building. I am at email@example.com, and will do the research if you will send me the name and picture of the building – remember, it must have been completed in 2022. Many thanks, dear readers, and happy holidays!