March 3, 2005
Courtesy Empire State Development
After years of false starts, the conversion
of New Yorks Central Post Office into a flagship
train station in Midtown appears to be moving closer to reality,
with teams vying to develop the space.
On February 24 the Empire State Development
Corporation announced it was choosing between proposals for
the new Moynihan Station (named for the late New
York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who pushed for the station),
which will take shape out the Farley Post Office, just west
of Penn Station. Submitted designs came from Foster and Partners,
Cesar Pelli Associates, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and
Kohn Pedersen Fox. Development teams include Boston Properties,
Tishman Speyer Properties with Jones Lang LaSalle, and The
Related Companies with Vornado Realty trust.
The released proposals all include plans
to preserve much of the existing beaux-arts post office, and
plan for large interior spaces mixing retail and public circulation.
All incorporate David Childs, FAIAs potato chip,
structure, a curved glass and steel canopy that arches over
a large public space. Because of competition rules, exterior
designs could not be identified with specific teams, but the
plans include several glass tower proposals. One is a smooth
structure with an extruding central envelope, one includes
regimented lattice work, one appears covered with steel beams,
and one is a fairly straightforward office building.
The $600 million project will center
around a 400,000 square-foot transportation facility, which
could hold commuters for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(MTA) or New Jersey Transity. Other elements include 750,000
square-feet of private development, mostly in the aforementioned
skyscrapers, and 250,00 square-feet of space for the U.S.
Winners are scheduled to be chosen early
this summer, and development is expected to begin shortly
afterward, with completion in 2010.