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The City Club Demands Transparency on Penn Station Redevelopment

A joint letter from community organizations to Governor Hochul seeks transparency regarding Penn Station's planned design, transit improvements, and the General Project Plan. This effort was spearheaded by the Landmarks Conservancy.

Hochul- World Class Penn Station
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September 25, 2023

The Honorable Kathy Hochul

Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Hochul:

The undersigned organizations all agree with you: New York needs a world-class Penn Station. The Station is vital to the City and region’s economy. Its users, and all New Yorkers, need to know that they are getting the station that the City, State, and region deserves.

Penn should welcome residents, commuters, and visitors with an excellent experience and abundant transit capacity. This is clearly the moment when that goal can be achieved. But there is conflicting information, and confusion, about what is happening and what could happen at Penn. With so much public money involved, we believe the public deserves full transparency and explanation on several issues.

Penn Station Design: Will there be a public bidding process for the design? Will the State comment on the other designs that have been made public? The MTA has announced its own plan. How would that coordinate with a new design? With the future of Madison Square Garden’s location in question, how will any plan accommodate for its potential move?

Transit Improvements: Many experts support through-running to expand capacity, but prior documents from the railroads have dismissed it as not feasible. Yet, another analysis of through running is being conducted now by the railroads. The public deserves a full explanation of why it is or isn’t suitable, with all studies released in full to the public, including detailed information about their methodologies.

General Project Plan: While we acknowledge the recent decision by State Supreme Court Judge Billings dismissing challenges to the GPP, there is still confusion. You publicly “decoupled” the GPP from Penn improvements. Yet Judge Billings’ decision noted that Empire State Development said the State is in talks with Vornado about certain sites. To what benefit, if there is no longer a connection to Penn? Why does the State still keep the GPP when other plans for Penn do not?

 Why has the GPP not been withdrawn?

The loss of historic Penn Station left a scar that generations have tried to heal. If this is the moment when this loss is rectified, New Yorkers must be a part of that discussion. We look forward to a robust public dialogue that leads to the Station which New York needs and deserves.


Art Deco Society

City Club


Community Board 5

Council of Chelsea Block Associations

Environmental Simulation Center

Historic Districts Council

Human Scale NYC

Limited Equity and Affordability at Penn South (LEAPS)

MidTown South Community Council

Murray Hill Neighborhood Association

New York Landmarks Conservancy

Penn Area Residents Committee

Preservation League of New York State


Save Chelsea

Take Back NYC

29th Street Block Association

Union Square Community Coalition

Untapped NYC

Victorian Society


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