Architects Invited to Reimagine a Future Penn Station

East
Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Inside Penn Station. (Kevin Harber / Flickr)

Inside Penn Station. (Kevin Harber / Flickr)

With its special use permit expired, the push is on to dislodge Madison Square Garden (MSG) from its current location atop Penn Station. The Municipal Art Society (MAS), one group vocally in favor of moving MSG, has asked four leading architects to imagine a future Penn Station unencumbered by the arena. MSG’s owners have asked the city to renew the permit in perpetuity and the city council will issue their decision later this year. Meanwhile, SHoP Architects, Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and SOM have been tasked with creating a dramatic vision that could galvanize New Yorkers in supporting the move.

“MAS has invited these four  incredibly distinguished design firms to offer a simple, clear, and compelling articulation of  what a new Penn Station and new Madison Square Garden might look like,” Eugenie Birch, Chair of the MAS Board of Directors, said in a statement. “It’s critical that  we have some of the best designers in the world tackling this question and that we engage  New Yorkers as broadly as possible in understanding how important this work is to the  future of our city.”

The group blasted the current arena in the announcement. “New York City deserves a world-class train station and truly dynamic arena but if the City Council approves the Garden’s special permit in perpetuity New York City will have neither,” the MAS said in a statement. The group asserted that the 50-year-old arena is falling behind modern facilities like the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn despite a major renovation that cost nearly $1 billion. “What should be one of the most exciting and dynamic buildings in New York City, is unfortunately one of the least,” MAS said.

The firms have until May 29 to prepare their concepts and a public unveiling ceremony will be held in Midtown to showcase the ideas.

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One Response to “Architects Invited to Reimagine a Future Penn Station”

  1. John Lumea says:

    Why is the MAS trying to micromanage the conversation by handpicking a shortlist of architecture firms to participate?

    Why not sponsor an open ideas competition?

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