Yes, but will the costs, both in term of taxpayer money, and the inconvenience to travelers during the long years of construction, truly justify the expenditure? We're talking about the potential expenditure of billions, and it's far from certain that the result will be as conveniently laid out as today's Penn Station.Otto Vondrak wrote:The number one benefit would be taking the station out of the rat-hole basement under Penn Station and giving travelers a proper gateway to one of the greatest cities in the world.
There's a lot to be said for the sheer efficiency of the current station. It's only a few steps from the ticket counter, to the baggage check, to the Acela Lounge, or to the secure waiting area for coach passengers. The busiest passenger station in the country is very user friendly, with a simple layout.
As far as I'm concerned, the only issue is the lack of clean and secure bathrooms for the exclusive use of ticketed Amtrak coach passengers. Other than that, I really don't have any complaints regarding the function, location or convenience of Penn Station.
I'm inclined to say that the redevelopment of Penn Station in the 1960s was the right business move, both at the time and subsequently. The old Pennsylvania Station had a mammoth footprint and represented a far less efficient use of valuable real estate than Grand Central.Otto Vondrak wrote:When did it become wrong in this society to build beautiful things? Here's a chance to correct what was done so many years ago and possibly bring new development to the area as well. Or would we maintain a series of cinder-block shantys to serve our national passenger rail network?
As far as I'm concerned, the important part of the turn of the century Pennsylvania Station, the elaborate working infrastructure, remains intact and fully functional, while the monumental structure above was superfluous to the needs of a modern rail travel. It's also worth noting that the old station was never air conditioned, and with the glass roof, must have been unbearable at times in the summer. From the perspective of a 1960s commuter, the new air conditioned station must have seemed like an improvement over the old mausoleum.