Preservation Issues

Moynihan Train Hall - Finally Moving Forward


-Rendering of Moynihan Station Train Hall Photo credit: NYS Governor's Office


-West End Concourse of Moynihan Train Hall, Photo by SOM


-West End Concourse of Moynihan Train Hall, Photo by SOM

UPDATE: JUNE 2017

New York State took two important steps toward realizing the long-delayed Moynihan Train Hall this month. An enlarged and renovated West End Concourse opened, allowing Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak passengers to enter and leave trains through the Farley Post Office. And the State finally closed with developers on contracts to build a soaring train hall in Farley to be named after the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Senator Moynihan first proposed a train hall in Farley in 1993 and the Conservancy has supported that goal since.

The Concourse got thumbs-up from commuters, who appreciated digital train information, colorful directional signage and giant LED pictures of City landmarks and upstate scenery.

Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the steps towards improved transit facilities during a June 19 press conference in Farley with Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Jerrold Nadler. “Long Island Rail Road commuters never have to go into Penn Station again,” the Governor said.

The 255,000 square-foot train hall will serve Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passengers, relieving the severe over-crowding at Penn Station and allowing for much-needed improvement there. The Hall will feature a soaring 92-feet glass roof above its historic trusses. It is scheduled for completion in 2020. The Farley Post office is the architectural twin of the original Penn Station, both designed by Charles McKim of McKim, Mead and White.

The $1.6 billion price tag is being funded with $550 million from New York State, $105 million from Amtrak; $315 million from the MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and federal grants; $630 million from developers the Related Companies and Vornado Realty. Skanska USA, the third member of the developer-builder team, is putting in approximately $1.3 billion. Phase Two redevelopment will also include 1.3 million square feet of transit, retail, restaurant and office space. Skanska also did Phase One of the project, which included underground track work and safety features.

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November 2016

Governor Cuomo’s commitment to create the long-awaited Moynihan Station in the landmark Farley Post Office is showing results. Moynihan Station officials and architects from Skidmore Owings and Merrill briefed the Conservancy and other groups on November 21 on the next phase of construction as “Phase One” nears completion.

“Phase Two” includes constructing the train hall, highlighted by a glass canopy and the original trusses, and minor changes to the exterior of the landmark Farley Building. Construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2017.

Officials also held a public hearing November 2 to review modifications to the General Project Plan in anticipation of Phase Two. Among the key features: The Farley tenant will be a new special purpose entity owned by subsidiaries of Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies. LIRR and Amtrak will be the principal railroads using Moynihan and each will have a substantial presence in Farley. The plan also contains commitments to preserve and restore certain key components of the Farley building including the retail post office space, interior facades of the courtyard and many other features.

The Farley Annex will be used largely as office and commercial space on the ground floor. The agreement stipulates that there will be no “big box” retail. A new public concourse will connect the new Train Hall to Ninth Avenue and a north-south concourse will connect 33rd and 34th Streets.

Vornado and Related were recently re-selected as developers of the project using plans SOM developed for the State. Governor Cuomo re-opened the process last January announcing design plans for Moynihan as well as a range of possible improvements to Penn Station.
Phase One of Moynihan Station is almost complete, including underground work to tracks and platforms and two new street level entrances on Eighth Avenue.

The Conservancy has supported a new train hall in Farley since it was first announced in 1992.
We also support Phase Two plans as presented last week and the recent General Project Plan modifications.

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Cuomo Plans Overhaul of Moynihan and Penn
January 7, 2016

Governor Cuomo’s announcement yesterday of his determination to complete Moynihan Station and upgrade Penn Station is good news for New York and the Landmarks Conservancy applauds his determination and vision.

View Governor Cuomo’s Presentation

While most of the media focus is on improving Penn Station, Governor Cuomo recognizes what the Conservancy has believed and fought for all along: the key to a better Penn Station is completing the long overdue Moynihan Station within the landmark Farley Post Office.

Completing Moynihan, and moving Amtrak facilities there, will take some 30% of passengers out of Penn and provide room in that overcrowded and grungy facility for genuine improvements.

View All Renderings

We were there when Senator Moynihan first proposed a new train hall in Farley in 1992. We’ve fought for it ever since, helping to secure $83.3 initial federal funding and lobbying Congress and Albany to get it moving. We firmly opposed plans to move Madison Square Garden into the back section of Farley. This would have been enormously expensive, disruptive to train traffic, and overwhelmed the train hall. Now the first phase of Moynihan’s transformation—involving underground track improvements and better pedestrian access to Farley—is nearly complete. A design for the new station that incorporates some historic fabric into a modern train hall is ready. And the necessary political will to get it done is here.

New requests for proposals from developers for both stations will be issued tomorrow. The Governor stated that air rights and revenue from new retail development at both sites would cover the $3 billion cost of the entire project. And he estimates completion in three years.

Cuomo dubbed the combined stations the Empire Station Complex. The Farley side will always be “Moynihan” to us. And we will continue to push for the great train hall Senator Moynihan envisioned and New York deserves.