NEW YORK CITY – Amtrak and Vornado Realty Trust marked the completed transformation of New York Penn Station’s busiest entrance at 7th Avenue and 32nd Street in late November 2023. The enlarged and fully rebuilt entrance at the nation’s busiest train station is 50% larger. It provides natural light and air down into the concourse and features a fully accessible and safer experience.
“We are proud to roll out the welcome mat to our new, modern entrance for the 600,000 daily New York Penn Station visitors,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “Having a direct, accessible entrance at 32nd and 7th will improve the customer experience for all passengers as they can now take an elevator, walk down wider stairs and have an added, third escalator to help them enter or exit the station.”
The renovated entrance features:
- New elevator: A new accessible elevator makes this busy entrance used by NJ TRANSIT, Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak passengers fully accessible and improves the customer experience for those carrying heavy luggage.
- More escalators: Three new transit-grade escalators replaced two original escalators, connecting passengers with the station’s mezzanine level.
- Wider sidewalks: Working with the New York City Department of Transportation, Vornado is significantly widening the sidewalks along the west side of 7th Avenue between West 31st and 33rd Streets to relieve crowding and improve safety and navigation.
- Light-filled canopy: The entrance’s 1967-era concrete overhang has been replaced with a new glass canopy that allows natural light into the station below.
- Visibility from Park Avenue and points east: Monumental illuminated Penn Station signage allows travelers to easily locate one of the station’s main entrances.
Over the last five years, Amtrak has made more than $300 million in capital improvement investments at New York Penn Station, in addition to its investment in Moynihan Train Hall. In FY 2023, Amtrak dedicated more than $114 million to its Americans with Disabilities Act Stations Program, which has now brought 118 stations around the nation to full compliance and another 65 to compliance excluding platforms, which require additional work.
The 7th Avenue and 32nd Street Entrance project resulted from a public-private partnership, with Vornado leading the overall design and constructing street-level improvements and the canopy above, while Amtrak constructed the improvements from the street to its concourse including the new elevator. The transformation was enabled by Vornado’s redevelopment of its PENN 2 office tower and the adjacent public spaces between West 31st and West 33rd Streets along 7th Avenue.
Foster + Partners designed the dramatic new glass canopy and interior lighting feature, which creates a more inviting, open and brighter environment linking the station below to the street. Above the canopy, perched 50 feet above the plaza on the underside of the monumental “Bustle” of PENN 2, is a massive new LED lighting installation developed by Vornado, providing an opportunity for art, and ensuring a sense of place and civic monumentality.
Posted Nov. 21, 2023 / Photos: Fernando Sandoval/MW.