The Real Deal New York

Amid rezoning plans, firms seek to rededesign area around Grand Central Terminal

October 18, 2012 09:30AM

A rezoning proposal from the Department of City Planning has architects and developers eager to make changes to Grand Central Station and its surrounding area, the Wall Street Journal reported. The DCP plan would rezone the Grand Central area to allow for new office towers, in exchange for a required donation from developers to make infrastructure upgrades that could include building additional access points to Grand Central’s subway platforms and a pedestrian mall on Vanderbilt Avenue.

Thus far, three architecture firms have been asked by the Municipal Art Society of New York to submit proposal to redesign the area — their designs will be unveiled at a conference tomorrow.

“Grand Central itself is our most beloved landmark. It’s the center of commercial New York. It’s also a neighborhood. But yet, the area over the years, it has become somewhat disconnected and a little lonely at times, particularly in the evening,” MAS president Vin Cipolla, said.

One of the designs brought forward by the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill would suspend a halo shaped observation deck between two new office buildings that would move up and down the buildings.

Another design from WXY Architecture also calls for an elevated pedestrian walkway but over the current Park Avenue Viaduct and with a glass bottom.

The third firm, Foster + Partners,  sees a pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, increased height in the pedestrian tunnels and adding more open space to the terminal entrances. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron

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