Moynihan Station projection from the Municipal Art Society.
Remember that Moynihan Station people have been trying for years to put at the site of the Farley Post Office at 34th Street? The project that’s supposed to restore some of the glory eradicated when the old, beautiful Penn Station was destroyed and replaced by the new, awful Madison Square Garden? Now that Obama is dishing out stimuli, Senator Chuck Schumer wants $100 million for the new station, says the Times, as well as a $1 billion kick-in from the Port Authority.
Schumer’s push comes at a propitious moment: last week the Municipal Art Society elected a new chairman, David Childs, who happens to be the lead architect on the Moynihan project. The Society has been a power in city planning for 115 years. They’ve poked their nose into other recent projects, including the revivification of Coney Island, but they’ve been campaigning for a Moynihan Station for years and are clearly hot to get it started. Their current idea is to knock out MSG and build a new stadium into the Moynihan complex, freeing the current stadium site for “private development.”
Though developers in New York have been taking a beating lately, the ones with the rights to this project have reason to be optimistic. The city’s elite have long been in favor of it so long as government funding could be obtained, and if any project was made for the rail-friendly, shovel-ready Age of Obama, this is it.
We are agnostic on this project, but are pleased that a green light for Moynihan Station would probably bring back the proposed underground midtown pedestrian tunnels, which will be a great pleasure to all of us, especially when the New Depression really hits and some of us will enjoy sleeping in them.