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Honor my father & build Moynihan Station

Honor my father & build Moynihan Station

Daily News 6/13/2007

By Maura Moynihan

As the city and state consider plans for a bigger and better Moynihan Station, some preservationists are concerned that the possible move of Madison Square Garden into the Farley Building might compromise the form and function of the last landmark standing over the grave of the late, great Penn Station. These and other issues must be addressed, but let us not allow preemptive negotiations to obscure the bigger picture.

After my father’s death in 2003, I created the Friends of Moynihan Station, a citizens’ group dedicated to getting the stations built. We do not want to see the architectural crimes of the past repeated, we want what our late senator labored for: a public space that is beautiful and a train station that is functional.

Above all, we do not want to lose the $1 billion of funding that Sen. Moynihan secured for the city he so loved, because we know that this chance will not come again.

When Sen. Moynihan conceived of the plan to convert the Farley Building into a transit hub, there was no hope of ever moving Madison Square Garden. Today the project has grown into something hitherto unimagined: two stations, Moynihan East and Moynihan West. It would offer relief for the millions of New Yorkers who must endure the ugliness and dysfunction of Penn Station – not to mention more public space, an improved arena and a vital first step in developing the fallow wasteland of midtown west.

The mayor, the governor and the Garden have been working with the city and state to make this happen. If my father were alive today, I am sure that he would support this mission, which will relieve millions of New Yorkers and their visitors from the squalor and chaos of the nation’s busiest transit hub.

But now there is more at stake. I recently attended the Regional Plan Association’s annual conference. This year the theme was global warming. I listened with alarm – terror is perhaps more accurate – as the many distinguished panelists spoke of the urgent need to invest in public transportation and energy efficiency now, not in 10 years, nor five years, or we invite catastrophe.

We have entered a time of global ecological crisis. We cannot demand perfection from any project or plan. Our future survival rests upon our collective will power to get things done with speed and vision.

Moynihan Station cannot wait. The governor and the mayor want to hear jackhammers. The people of New York, and their late senator, deserve nothing less.

Moynihan, daughter of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, senator from New York, is executive director of Friends of Moynihan Station.

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