Renovating Penn Station as an institution, not a building

Beware nostalgia for the old Penn Station. While the railroad station’s current iteration neither functions well nor provides an inspiring space, addressing these problems requires addressing the underlying issues of railroad governance, finance, and operations.

Writing in the New York Times, David Dunlap aims to demolish the myth of Penn Station’s demise as solely

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Integrating retail uses into transit stations: opportunities to increase revenue, improve urban design and passenger experience

Integrating retail uses into transit stations presents several opportunities for transit agencies like WMATA looking to increase ridership and revenue. Such retail uses also have the potential to help development projects around stations, providing a key link between the transit station and the surrounding TOD.

Combining retail and transit isn’t exactly a new idea; train

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Metro’s stainless steel future – Metro Center sales office

Another element of WMATA’s stainless steel future has emerged from behind the plywood: part of the newly renovated Metro Center sales office.

Unlike Metro’s new entrance to the Rosslyn station (now open to the public, with some pictures from Dan Malouff), the sales office is located within the shell of the existing Harry Weese station

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Metro’s stainless steel future – Rosslyn

As the construction fencing starts to come down around the second entrance to Rosslyn Station, you can now see the future aesthetic for Metro infrastructure. Lots of steel and glass, but little of Metro’s original materials: concrete, tile, and brass.

Elevator-only second entrance to the Rosslyn Station. Photo by the author.

The three elevators

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The costs of moving Madison Square Garden from atop Penn Station

CC image from wallyg.

The New York City Council recently voted to approve Madison Square Garden’s operating permit for a period of just ten years, with the goal of expediting the arena’s replacement and thereby easing the potential renovation of the city’s main inter-city rail station. Given that operating permits are frequently handed out

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The future of Penn Station, part II: additional resources, renderings, and video of the architectural presentations

Penn Station platforms. CC image from Harvey Yau.

More links in relation to yesterday’s post on the future of Penn Station in New York:

Second Ave. Sagas approaches skeptically, but with a nice compendium of the various renderings from the four architectural teams. Meanwhile (and also from Second Ave. Sagas) there is modest progress

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The future of New York’s Penn Station

Phase 1 of Moynihan Station. Image from Moynihan Station Development Corporation

Today, New York’s Municipal Arts Society revealed the results of their recent design challenge to re-envision New York’s claustrophobic Penn Station. The reveal of the concepts comes on the heels of a vote by the city’s Planning Commission to extend the operating permit

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What’s wrong with ‘Metro Brown?’

Last week, the Washington Post featured a lengthy profile of WMATA’s head architect, the man behind the concepts in Metro’s recently unveiled ‘station of the future‘ concept. The article offers some insight into the thinking behind the proposed re-design of the Bethesda station, as well as some of the pushback Metro has received already from

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Metro’s ‘station of the future’ – why mess with what works?

This week, WMATA unveiled a concept for their “station of the future.” The press release and accompanying video flythough of the pilot station (Bethesda) for these improvements lists the reasons for these changes, including “improved lighting, better information and improved customer convenience.” And who would be against those things? All three have been criticisms of

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Station cleaning – the end product

Today’s snow storm means Metro’s been limited to their underground service map only. Given that buses are out of commission, this low level of service is the only real way to get around town. It also means there’s plenty of time to spend in the stations waiting for trains.

So, while waiting at Potomac Avenue,

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