Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…

There may be only one proposition that every sentient being in the tri-state region would agree on: Penn Station, as we know, it has to go. As Margaret Newman, FAIA, noted at the “Transportation as Cultural Identifier: Penn 2023” on 04.19.14, the station was built under the twin erroneous assumptions that New York City and rail travel were both in conditions of irreversible decline. Penn Station is slightly smaller than Bryant Park – about 8½ acres, or 368,000 vs. 418,000 square feet – yet the number of people passing through it daily, reported Newman, is roughly equivalent to the population of Denver, some half a million. And pass through it is all most of them do: it is no place to linger, the opposite of a welcoming space, disliked as widely as its lamented predecessor was admired. As Chris Sharples, AIA, hardly needed to remind this audience, it is a place where “we use the word ‘flee’; Vincent Scully probably would use the word ‘scurry.’” “If you think it’s bad now,” added Thomas Wright of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), “you ain’t seen nothing yet,” considering the rising numbers of users at this confluence of multiple transit systems. (Some 80% of Manhattan’s entering commuters now come from west of the Hudson, feeding New Jersey Transit’s growth over the past two decades, with the Long Island Rail Road holding steady, and true high-speed rail for the Northeast Corridor a possibility.) Endure it though we all do, the situation is critical. Continue reading “Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…”

Names in the News

The winners of the AIANYS Excelsior Awards for design excellence in publicly funded buildings include the East 180th Street Subway Station and Hampton Library by Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects; The Corbin Building by Page Ayres Cowley Architects; TWA Flight Center by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; the Arbor Hill Albany Public Library by Kevin Hom Architect; FDNY Marine Company 9 by Sage and Coombe Architects; New Settlement Community Campus by Edelman Sultan Knox Wood and Dattner Architects; and the Myrtle-Wyckoff Station Complex by Dattner Architects. The Henry Hobson Richardson Award was conferred on the Institute for Public Architecture founder Jonathan Kirschenfeld, AIA; and I. Donald Weston, FAIA, was honored with the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award…The Architectural League of New York awarded the 2014 President’s Medal, recognizing extraordinary excellence and innovation in architecture and the arts to artist Richard Serra…The winners of the Architectural League of New York’s 2014 Prize for Young Architects + Designers are Brooklyn-based Kutan Ayata and Michael Young of Young & Ayata and Thomas Kelley and Carrie Norman of Norman Kelley, along with Claus Benjamin Freyinger and Andrew Holder of The LADG, Ada Fure of SIFT Studio, Jenny E. Sabin of Jenny Sabin Studio, and Geoffrey von Oeyen of Geoffrey von Oeyen Design…The Society for Marketing Professional Services – New York will honor Stantec, HLB, WB Engineers+Consultants, SBLM, SOM, Perkins+Will, and Mircrodesk at this year’s Marketing Communications Awards on 06.05.14…Robert A.M. Stern Architects has announced Anna Antropova, a Master’s candidate at the McGill University School of Architecture, as the winner of the 2014 RAMSA Travel Fellowship…The winner of the third annual Architectural Record “Good Design is Good Business” Lifetime Achievement Architecture Award is STUDIOS ArchitectureContinue reading “Names in the News”