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As of 1 PM Sunday afternoon, after numerous construction delays, the new subway station at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue is open, and running trains on the 7 line, which previously terminated at Times Square.

We’ll have a more detailed geographic analysis once ReedPOP announces their crowd control plans, but while you wait, here are numerous photos taken by me a few weeks ago, and Sunday.

Friday, August 28, 2015

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The entrance to the subway at sunset, not quite ready for service.
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A panoramic of the park block just north of the new subway entrance.
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The park just north of 34th Street. 3 Hudson Yards will soon be built on the parcel between this park and Javits. (I have an updated photo below showing the new fence advertising.)
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The unfinished secondary subway entrance in the background. Better pictures below.
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SAMSUNGIf you want to avoid all of the noise of the city, these fountains create a cone of white noise.

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Enjoy the view before the cranes arrive.

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The children’s playground, on the block just north of 35th Street. Directly to the north, a food kiosk and public restrooms.
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The soon-to-be-transformed skyline, reflected in the Javits facade.
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Already up on the big board. Got tickets?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The opening ceremonies. Lots of officials speaking.
The opening ceremonies. Lots of officials speaking.
This is the building which will occupy the corner of 34th & Eleventh
This is the building which will occupy the corner of 34th & Eleventh. Note, they do not depict the many other skyscrapers which are being built in the neighborhood. (Probably because this lot is not part of the Hudson Yards development.) 66 storeys.
A panoramic from the southeast corner of the subway station park. The railyard and construction platform is directly behind me.
A panoramic from the southeast corner of the subway station park. The rail yard and construction platform is directly behind me.
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Another panoramic, from the small hill on the southern side. Here you see the elevator and one of the ventilation towers., on the left.
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The plot immediately west of the subway station, north of 33rd. Future site of 55 Hudson Yards, a 50-storey building.
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The entrance. Four escalators, bookended by staircases. A short ride/walk down to the turnstiles. But do look up…

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Mosaic designed by Xenobia Bailey. Three pieces. This is #1. #2 will be installed at the second entrance currently under construction. #3:

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(This is a panoramic of a conical section, so the edges don’t exactly line up.) This is over the area in front of the turnstiles.
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You are here. Temporary neighborhood map. Eventually, those three blocks of park will extend north all the way to the Lincoln Tunnel ramps.
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Detail.  Yes, I wondered why there wasn’t a direct station connection to the Javits Center.  Also, DO NOT take the M34 SBS bus. It’s faster, cheaper, and less stressful to walk. Stay on the south side of 34th Street, and you’ll have a nice ten-minute walk from Penn Station.
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Once through the turnstiles, there are two ways down: On the north side, four escalators; on the south, two funicular/diagonal elevators and one escalator. It takes about 90 seconds to ride.  Then you’re at the lower mezzanine. This is the view from the far north side.
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Here’s the view from the south, roughly three blocks away from the other end. Note the “brontosaurus ribs” portal. This leads to the diagonal elevators. My advice: pre-board/prewalk in the second or third subway car, which will place you closer to the escalator bay exit. Or, if you want to avoid the throng, sit in the first car, exit quickly, and walk up the escalator alongside the diagonal elevators. Everyone else will be clogging the main escalator bay.
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One of the many staircases down to the station platform.  To summarize: street level / upper mezzanine / lower mezzanine / station platform. 10 storeys below ground, to avoid the Lincoln Tunnel and train tunnels nearby.
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Something most New Yorkers have never seen: a pristine wooden subway bench. You think I’m crazy for taking a photo? Minutes later, another subway nut was surprised to see it as well. I might have been the first person to sit here. Given the remoteness of this station, currently only serving the convention center and a few residents, as well as the climate controlled environment, this will possibly be the preferred spot for napping homeless people.
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The view up from the platform. Elevator in the background. One thing I did not notice: there are no columns on the station platform!
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A slightly strange perspective of the staircase from the platform. The stainless steel (?) ribs are slightly brutalistic in design.  This staircase is located on the far southern edge of the platform.
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Just me, being artistic. In the journalism trade, this is called “atmosphere”.

So, what’s to come?

hudson yards skylineA LOT.

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. It is anticipated that more than 24 million people will visit Hudson Yards every year. The site will ultimately include more than 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space, 5 state-of-the-art office towers, more than 100 shops, a collection of restaurants, approximately 5,000 residences, a unique cultural space, 14 acres of public open space, a 750-seat public school and an Equinox® branded luxury hotel with approximately 200 rooms—all offering unparalleled amenities and easy access to transportation for residents, employees and guests.
Here’s the map:
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The subway entrance I featured above?
What is now 33rd street will be elevated (!) and the park extended south. (Currently, the park is one storey above the street.)
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The view south, featuring the just-opened subway entrance. On the right is seen 55 Hudson Yards. All this is currently the rail yard for the Long Island Railroad. A platform is being constructed OVER the rails, upon which will be built the towers. A similar technique was used at Grand Central over a hundred years ago.
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The view from the High Line.

Further north, there is 3 Hudson Boulevard, which I pictured above. That building will be 66 storeys tall.

Tishman Speyer recently paid $185 Million for the land between 36th and 37th Streets on Eleventh Avenues. Owners of Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, TS was the original developer of the rail yard, but dropped out during the last economic recession.

TS also paid $438 Million for the land along Tenth Avenue, between 34th and 35th. A 60-storey building will be constructed, which will overlook the water fountains and 3 Hudson Boulevard.

On the other side of the railyard, the AP Building is getting a facelift, and will be joined by two adjacent skyscrapers between it and Moynihan Station, to be known as Manhattan West.

Hudson Boulevard Park possible Here’s a possible layout of the Hudson Boulevard park. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Landscape Architects, it, of course, is subject to change, and how fast the area is developed. The park was originally part of the City’s 2012 Olympic bid in 2006. (In addition to using the convention center for smaller indoor competitions, there would have been a 40-storey international broadcast center built, as well as the ill-fated Olympic Stadium.)

Once office buildings are occupied, expect a few posh hotels to finally appear near the Convention Center. With the 7 train, numerous gourmet restaurants, luxury retail and residential, plus the High Line and the rapid development of that neighborhood, it’s a no-brainer.


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