VIRTUAL TECHNICAL SEMINAR (1 PHD)
Date & Time:
Tuesday, May 10th, 2022
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Moynihan Train Hall - A New Era for the James A. Farley Building
Webinar – Link will be sent to registrants
Register for this month's meeting HERE!
FREE - Students & Government
$10 - Members and Non-Members
PLEASE RSVP BY MONDAY, MAY 9TH, 2022
On New Year’s Day 2021, Moynihan Train Hall opened to the public and restored a grand entrance to New York City lost since the mid-1960s, when the original Pennsylvania Station, a McKim, Mead & White masterpiece built in 1910, was demolished. The new facility is an adaptive reuse of the landmarked James A. Farley General Post Office Building, also designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1912, located across Eighth Avenue to the west of the current Penn Station head house.
The 1.9 million square feet five-story building sits on a superblock bounded by Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets. The project was led by New York State’s Empire State Development via a public-private partnership with Vornado Realty Trust.
Due to its massive scale, the project was constructed in phases. The first phase, completed in 2017, was the West End Concourse, which expanded and widened an existing concourse beneath the Farley Building parallel to Eighth Avenue and now provides new entrances and access to all of the tracks served by Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road. The commercial component, the Farley Building redevelopment, converted most of the existing floor area, including all of the Annex, into retail at street level and offices at the second through fifth floors. Core and shell work for this phase was completed in late 2020 through early 2021.
But it is Moynihan Train Hall, the 255,000 square foot intermodal transportation hub, that most people have heard about and, a year and a half after its successful opening, have probably seen for themselves. The combined passenger count for Moynihan and Penn Station is expected to eventually exceed 650,000 travelers a day.
The train hall’s central feature is the main boarding concourse, designed by architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM designed all three phases). Located in Farley’s former mail sorting room, the 150 feet by 200 feet space is column-free due to three existing steel roof trusses—invisible a century ago—that were uncovered and reinforced to become a significant focal point of the design. Their latticed configuration and riveted connections are reminiscent of framing in the old Penn Station and add delicacy of detail and a sense of lightness, despite their large scale. Four Skylights each measuring 50 feet by 150 feet and arched in cross-section, follow the gabled truss top chords to enclose the concourse.
The 110-year-old James A. Farley building had become antiquated and largely abandoned. Its continued use without modifications would have been inefficient while the complete demolition necessary for a traditional redevelopment would have been wasteful. Alternatively, renovating the building—taking full advantage of its original strengths—and repurposing it for transit, retail, and offices created a 21st century facility that maintains its early 20th century grandeur.
Brian Falconer, PE, SE
Mr. Falconer has been with Severud Associates since 1990 and in the role of principal since 2007. During his more than 25-year tenure with the firm, Mr. Falconer has contributed to the design or renovation of structures ranging from academic facilities, museums, architectural stairs, and retail buildings to medical complexes, residential buildings, corporate headquarters, and transportation facilities. As a result of this extensive experience, he has become an expert at designing structures using a wide range of materials and systems including long-span, high-rise, structural steel, reinforced concrete, composite construction, precast concrete, masonry, timber, cold-rolled steel, aluminum, and glass. Mr. Falconer has collaborated on many architectural gems and award-winning structures like Moynihan Station, the Barnes Foundation, the Singh Center, the World Trade Center PATH Station, and the Belfer Research Building. Actively engaged in the engineering community at large, Mr. Falconer once served as president of the Structural Engineer’s Association of New York and is currently a member of the New York City Department of Buildings Structural Committee, the Structural Engineering Institute’s Earthquake Effects and Structural Fire Protection committees, and the Concrete Industry Board. He also authored parts of the 2008 and 2014 Building Code of the City of New York.
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