Amazingly, only two passenger railroad tracks cross the Hudson into NYC and freight trains must take a 280 mile detour north to get back to NYC and Long Island. This is why over 90% of freight comes in by truck and think what that does to traffic congestion and pollution.
When the Penn Tubes were built 100 years ago, NYC and Long Island had fewer than 4 million people. Back then, most products arrived by ship and ferry. Now the population is over 11 million and people buy a lot more stuff these days.
The Smart ARC II Tunnel is double the diameter at 52 feet (60 feet is now possible) and the exponential increase allows 4 railroad tracks, including heavy freight lines directly into NYC. A single big tunnel requires less structural concrete lining than two small tunnels at half the diameter. Only one tunnel boring machine is needed and there are four tracks instead of two.
Single-track twin tubes bored through solid rock, like the new 7 Train Extension, is Victorian Overbuild at its worst. A very small tunnel was all that engineering and technology could handle 100 years ago.
After over 70 years, World Landmark gets new friend. (click photo)
Proudly brought to the World-Famous NYC Skyline by New Jersey’s Vornado Realty Trust. America’s Largest “Local” Commercial Real Estate investment trust earned $257 million last quarter. Oh, that darn recession.
If it’s not too late for Bloomer’s Billionaire Buddies to end up demolishing the historic Hotel Pennsylvania and actually build this lovely glass box tower 1200 feet just southwest of the Empire State Building, maybe repeating Penn Destruction and ruining a tourist town’s famous image will be determined a bit… unnecessary?
There’s a rumor Bridget Bardot is partnering to develop an identical Eiffel Tower-shaped luxury condo tower directly opposite the River Seine with all profits going to kitty litter for underserved homeless Parisian cats.
Despite being a Truly Evil Airline Passenger, perhaps future mayoral candidate Alec Baldwin will only Tweet about this nasty business deal. That’s all it is.
With very large, high-rent upper floors, the Plaza(?) will have 34 fewer stories but be just 50 feet shorter than its famous Art Deco next-door neighbor.
Hey, that’s Progre$$ and we all know that’s all that matters.
The Hotel Pennsylvania and Repeating a Huge Mistake
(click photo, Arrow keys)
Built in 1919 by the Pennsylvania Railroad across from their magnificent station, the Hotel Pennsylvania was designed by the famous “starchitects” McKim, Mead & White. Turned into The Statler Hilton in 1954, the lobby was remuddled with the latest modern design tastes of the day.
After the initial shock upon entering the hotel lobby, you start to realize how amazing these intact mid-century modern interiors are. The lighting just needs a little professional help.
Despite its direct historic connection with the demolished Penn Station across the avenue, NYC Leaders have approved demolition and Vornado Realty Trust is insisting their new building be the tallest edifice within a 1000 foot radius. The glass box will be just 50 feet shorter than the Empire State Building and less than two blocks away.
But the new building’s upper floors are much larger so 15 Penn Plaza will appear taller from most views around the City. By the way, exactly where is the Plaza? It will not replace the Empire State Building but rather make it much less relevant. Like with 9/11, the world-famous NYC skyline will be forever changed. That’s Progre$$. Think of the money someone well-connected could make building a gated community in the underdeveloped Sheep Meadow.
Bloomy’s push along with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Co-Mission denied landmark status so Vornado can demolish the historic hotel and build yet another imported glass tower the same height as it is distant from the Empire State Building. Maybe the next mayor will campaign to stop these bad decisions.
There’s nothing unusual about the height of 15 Penn Plaza, the problem is that it will forever change one of the most famous skylines in the World. Why not demolish one of those hideous 1960s tower boxes Downtown and build your profit pile there? They are full of asbestos.
It would be unthinkable to put something like this next to the Eiffel Tower or even the Space Needle, but some New Yorkers think money is the only driver in their city. The GE Building at Rockefeller Center has 2 more floors than 15 Penn Plaza but is 350 feet shorter! It makes you shake your head.
The worst part about this exercise is that Cesar Pelli’s design isn’t even original. You can find various versions of The Pelli Pike in Charlotte, Hong Kong, and San Francisco.
What exactly is the point of destroying another truly unique and historical New York Landmark and its bankable skyline for… what?! So a couple of billionaires can make billions more?
It stood for just over 50 years and took another 3 to break apart, bit by bit. All that wasted space of Grand Central Terminal was also proposed to be demolished for a new tower.
New Penn Station is so hopelessly confusing and ugly that every New Yorker who didn’t try to stop the destruction deserves to get lost and miss their train each time they venture into its depressing bowels.
Suppose that L to 7 Hudson Yards Extension actually happens. (L to 7 Extension) The platforms are offset so the L Train could eventually extend east to Penn Station and directly connect to Grand Central Terminal.
From there, there’s a very convenient connection with the 2nd Avenue Subway and First Avenue - UN Plaza. Add in a new Herald Square L Train Station, and 3 of the busiest transit hubs become connected. There isn’t a 34th Street tunneling conflict since Penn RR lines are under 32nd & 33rd Streets.
Maybe this becomes a reversed “C” shaped SAS revised route. It would include a Harlem Crosstown extension connecting west to the 1 Train. This would greatly improve horrible bus traffic on 125th Street and provide connections with all existing subway lines across Harlem. A third, middle track on this stretch may be a good idea to consider. This area could become, with truly careful planning, the new Uptown. And maybe the trash will no longer be such a problem.
And maybe this Crosstown L just heads north up 2nd Avenue and west across Harlem and we’re done! All those subway lines, Midtown and Uptown, will be connected.
Let’s capitalize on the lines we have in place and get more New Yorkers moving sooner.