A new Madison Square Garden would anchor a development featuring two supertall towers, as Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) pitches an ambitious plan to replace the venerable arena.
Under the PAU plan presented to New York City’s Community Board Five, which serves as the citizens’ voice for midtown Manhattan, the current Madison Square Garden would be home to an expanded Penn Station, with much of the existing arena interior gutted.
AU’s initiatives previously included the removal of the arena interiors, expansion of the transportation concourse floors, addition of passive heating and cooling, improvements to the northern and western entrances to the facility, and the addition of new platforms and tracks in conjunction with the proposed $13 billion Gateway Program. The cylindrical shape of the building would be preserved, but several levels of floors would be removed and the exterior would be re-clad in a new double-skin glass curtain wall, enabling natural light to flood the open interior and its 153-foot-high span from the ceiling to the platforms.
Madison Square Garden would move to an eight-acre site consisting of two full-block parcels bound by Sixth Avenue to the east, West 32nd Street to the south, Seventh Avenue to the west, and West 34th Street to the north. Straddling the new arena is a pair of supertall skyscrapers and two shorter towers, anchoring all four corners of a raised podium above street level.
With a cost of at least $5 billion associated with prior runs at a new MSG, it’s hard to say whether this plan could be feasible. There’s been talk of a new MSG for years now, so it’s not immediately known whether this has the backing of MSG or other city officials. This is the fourth Madison Square Garden, dating back to 1879: the first two were located at Madison Square, with the second designed by Stanford White. The current Madison Square Garden opened in 1968 but has been renovated extensively over the years.
Renderings courtesy PAU.
RELATED STORIES: At $5B, Replacing Madison Square Garden Doesn’t Seem Likely