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MAS Program Series: Can New York Build Another Great Train Station?


Re-Discovering Rail: The Smart, Green Alternative
Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society
Despite 20th century predictions of its imminent demise, passenger train travel is thriving from France to China. Except for the United States. But away from the East Coast, state and city governments are responding to traffic congestion by coming together with other stakeholders to develop high-speed and commuter networks that are transforming local transit patterns. Panelists will discuss what is happening elsewhere and then consider the local and regional obstacles to improving passenger service — and how those obstacles can be overcome. Panelists include: Don Phillips, transportation analyst and former transportation reporter, The Washington Post & International Herald Tribune; and Walter Zullig, Jr., legal and transportation consultant and counsel emeritus, MetroNorth Railroad

Video: Re-Discovering Rail

Recap: What if They Gave a Crisis…

The Federal Role in the Future of Rail

Learning From The Past: The Struggle to Build Penn Station
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30–8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society
Jill Jonnes, author of Conquering Gotham: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels, wanted to write about “an American success, about a monumental project that everyone would be familiar with.” That she has done. As Gilbert Taylor wrote in a Book List review, “…New York City’s Pennsylvania Station was the visible manifestation of a titanic subterranean project. Its sweeping story…comes together marvelously in Jonnes’s admiring history of the undertaking.” Jonnes’s presentation will include compelling historic images not featured in her book, which closes with the hope that Moynihan Station will be “…a return to the grandeur of the past.

Video: The Struggle to Build Penn Station

Recap: Jill Jonnes Bucks Up the Moynihan Station Crowd

The Struggle to Build (New) Penn Station: Jill Jonnes at MAS on Wednesday

World-Class Train Stations
Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society
Christopher Brown, author of Still Standing: A Century of Urban Train Stations will use his visual survey of stations from St. Louis to Istanbul to trace the development of the urban train station from its beginnings in the 1820s to the end of the 20th century era of station-building in the 1950s. Architect Andrew Whalley, partner at Grimshaw Architects, will draw on his experience as partner-in-charge of Paddington station and Waterloo's Eurostar terminal in London to discuss the design of today’s train stations worldwide. The program will be introduced by Hugh Hardy, FAIA, founder of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, LLC and moderated by Alexandros Washburn, chief urban designer, New York City Department of City Planning.

Recap: Is Green the New Civic?

Moynihan Station: What Needs to Happen Next,
Tuesday, May 13, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society
The construction of Moynihan Station is the single most critical civic project planned for New York City this decade. Penn Station, this country’s busiest transportation center, is overcapacity and inefficient. A modern, state-of-the-art train station would revitalize the surrounding district and be the most effective catalyst for development on the Far West Side of Manhattan. What will it take to fully realize Senator Moynihan’s vision?
Panelists include: Kent Barwick, president, Municipal Art Society; Richard L. Brodsky, assemblyman, New York State Assembly; Anna Hayes Levin, chair, Community Board 4; Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City; and Daniel A. Biederman, president, 34th Street Partnership. Moderator: Charles Bagli, reporter, The New York Times.

Recap: MAS Hosts “Next Steps” Panel

The Heart of the City: Grand Central Terminal & The Urban Railroad Station
Wednesday, May 28, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Municipal Art Society
Great railroad stations are often not just gateways to cities, but are the beating hearts of cities. Midtown Manhattan is unimaginable without Grand Central Terminal, which defines Midtown’s circulation patterns, gathers and dispenses people, moves the masses with a functional elan that is inseparable from the aesthetics of its architects’ visions. It is the great object lesson in how cities are made livable when neither form follows function nor function follows form, but when they are one and the same. Join Francis Morrone, architectural historian, for a look at Grand Central in comparison to the old Pennsylvania Station as well as some other American stations, and with an eye to what the projected Moynihan Station could mean for the future of New York.

$15, $12 MAS members. Reservations and prepayment required. Purchase tickets online or call 212 935 2075