The Moynihan Train Hall expands the nation’s busiest train station—New York’s Penn Station—across 8th Avenue into the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building, part of a mixed-use redevelopment of the entire block. The century-old building was designed by McKim, Mead, and White—the same firm that designed the original, iconic Pennsylvania Station. The Moynihan Train Hall will offer enhanced passenger facilities for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Long Island Rail Road passengers, and long distance travelers, including accessibility for passengers with disabilities, all within a grand Train Hall designed by SOM, featuring a sky lit atrium approximately the size of the Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall. In concert with the forthcoming renovation of Penn Station, to better serve commuter rail passengers and Amtrak’s intercity passenger arrivals, expansion of Amtrak and LIRR’s passenger services into the new Moynihan Train Hall will relieve existing station crowding and improve passenger comfort and security. Rockwell Group was tasked with designing Amtrak and LIRR’s Ticketed Waiting Room.
Our concept for the new Amtrak/LIRR waiting area was inspired by the grandeur and glamour of classic train stations, including the original Penn Station, and their soaring, light-filled concourses, arched openings, and signature fixtures. We also took a deep dive into research around benches and seating at train stations, and brought a sense of warmth and luxury to the waiting area with wood and upholstery.
Rockwell Group elevated the Ticketed Waiting Room to bring warmth and liveliness to this transitional space. The linear waiting area contains four seating bays with some freestanding high-top tables as well as custom, built-in benches inspired by historic train station seating, wrapped in walnut slats. The wood slats continue to line the walls, for a uniform, seamless look.
Metal globe sconces integrated through the wood walls were inspired by the original large globe lights at Penn Station. Benches feature wood vinyl cushions and low-profile wood armrests. Guests can access personal charging outlets along the bench aprons. A linear feature light on top of the bench peninsulas above the backrest provides a warm, soft glow. Niches in the walls feature custom backpainted blue glass panels adorned with etched architectural line work that form patterns referencing the original Penn Station.
Four niches frame Stan Douglas’ epic series of nine photographic panels commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with Public Art Fund. Arranged in three pairs and one triptych, Stan Douglas’ work reconstructs significant but little-known moments spanning the original Penn Station’s half-century lifespan, standing as vivid evocations of the city’s forgotten history.
Above, a custom lighting by Paul Loebach for Roll & Hill appears as cascading bars of light, giving the waiting area an expansive space and recalling the grand architectural lines of old train stations.