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13 January 2016

The New York Times Highlights HOK’s Historic Involvement with Redesign of Penn Station

HOK has collaborated on various design schemes for the Penn Station and James A. Farley Post Office redevelopment over the years.

The original Pennsylvania Station, designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1910, was demolished in the 1960s, an incident that has been regarded as an act of “civic vandalism.”

050629_Farley_trainhall“In 1992, an intriguing idea arose. Within Farley, also designed by McKim, Mead & White, was a courtyard that contained a mail sorting room nearly an acre in extent. Under this room were the westernmost ends of the longer passenger platforms of Penn Station. Why not turn that mail-sorting room into a grand new train hall?”

“The first plan — call it Farley 1 — showed a 120-foot-high parabolic arch rising in the central courtyard over the new train hall. The proposal, designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (now HOK), enjoyed the enthusiastic support of United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, whose cat-herding role in advancing the project was critical during its early years.”

“Six years later, Farley 3 eliminated the ‘chip’ and the two-level concourse. Instead of the original roof trusses, it was to have had an undulating skylight ceiling supported on six columns. James Carpenter Design Associates worked on it with HOK.”

The New York Times