Penn Station post Cuomo

(ARCHITECTURE HERE AND THERE) David Brussat, August 17, 2021

Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, effective in one week, could provide an opening to rebuild Penn Station as designed by architects McKim Mead & White in 1910. Is the next governor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, of a mind to support the plan? No one seems to know. First, she would have to stop Cuomo’s plan to expand rather than rebuild Penn Station and demolish up to 50 buildings, including the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Stewart Hotel and the Church of St. John the Baptist – all to make way for 10 towers in the so-called Empire Station Complex, a congestion magnification scheme facing broad opposition and unlikely to win city votes for whomever runs for governor next (including Hochul). She has a lot on her plate.

Also unknown is the view of Eric Adams, the city’s presumptive next mayor, whose campaign focused on NYC’s largely self-inflicted crime wave. Bringing common sense back to law enforcement in the Big Apple is certainly key to any redevelopment plan hopeful of success.

The many public advocacy groups opposed to the Empire Station Complex should join together and place the plan to rebuild Penn Station at the center of both their publicity and political strategies. Unity around a proposal of such likely popularity could have a profound force-multiplication effect.

Penn Station post Cuomo