After three years of construction at Penn Station, the century-old Farley Post Office building has officially transformed into a new passenger hall for travelers—right across Eighth Avenue from the existing Penn Station structure.
While any additions seem like a major upgrade for travelers passing through the Western Hemisphere’s busiest train station, the long-awaited, $1.6 billion Moynihan Train Hall features a spacious, light-filled atrium with a 92-foot-high glass skylight and soaring ceilings honoring the design of the original Penn Station. The new 255,000-square-foot Train Hall expands Penn Station's concourse space by 50%, which is more spacious than Grand Central’s main concourse (gasp!).
The second-story mezzanine will be home to dining and retail, a one-acre sky-lit atrium, a signature clock, cutting-edge technology, clear wayfinding, full accessibility, and museum-caliber public art, expanded waiting areas, free public WiFi throughout the transit center, and a dedicated lounge for nursing mothers.
The main hall, which once served as the Post Office's mail sorting room, is reminiscent of the original Penn Station's vaulted concourse and uses the same marble (from the same Tennessee quarries) as that at Grand Central Terminal. Its clock, which is suspended from the central truss, is meant to evoke nostalgia for the golden age of rail travel.
As for the LIRR and Amtrak trains, there are now 17 tracks accessible from the train hall with a direct connection to Ninth Avenue and the Eighth Avenue Subway.
Moynihan, named after the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, will be the home of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and Amtrak.
"The completion of this gorgeous new train hall would be a special accomplishment at any time, but it's an extraordinary accomplishment today because we're at a place where no one ever envisioned being," Governor Cuomo said at the unveiling on Wednesday. "This has been a traumatic year, both individually and collectively, and the question facing us has been, how do we respond?"
"Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a man of true vision," he continued. "He saw the potential in an underutilized post office and knew that if done correctly, this facility could not only give New York the transit hub it has long deserved but serve as a monument to the public itself. We built this as a statement of who we are, and who we aspire to be. Is it grand? Yes. Is it bold? Yes, because that is the spirit of New York and that is the statement we want to make to our visitors, to our children and to future generations. As dark as 2020 has been, this new hall will bring the light, literally and figuratively, for everyone who visits this great city."
Moynihan is open daily from 5am to 1am, but travelers passing through after 1am will need to use the facilities at Penn Station.
The new transit hub opens fully on Friday, January 1.
Here's what commuters can expect:
#Amtrak is quickly approaching its expansion into Moynihan Train Hall. Moynihan Train Hall will offer an improved customer experience for those traveling in/out of New York City. Here is what you can look forward to. pic.twitter.com/J2GWDfD2aF— Amtrak (@Amtrak) December 23, 2020
There’s only one question left—will the new passenger hall change the way New Yorkers really feel about Penn Station?
— With reporting from Shaye Weaver
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