Spiralling thrill ride proposed to help pay for Penn Station makeover

halo from above
© AE Superlab

Every visit to New York’s Penn Station is a thrill ride. Will I get trampled when they announce which track the train is on? Will I get lost in the labyrinth? Will I get a seat on the train to Newark Airport in rush hour? Will I find a working washroom? So much excitement. But apparently not enough for New Yorkers, who are a tough crowd; that’s why developer Brooklyn Capital Partners wants to put another thrill ride on top.

halo from below© AE Superlab

The Halo will be a 1200 foot high structure with gondolas flying down the tracks at up to a hundred miles an hour. Finally, high speed rail comes to America! The developers tell the Daily News that the ride would generate lots of money to help pay for renovations to the station.

The partially open air ride would cost $637 million to build and could attract as many 7.8 million thrill seekers, according to the plan submitted to state officials. A ground lease payment plan would generate up to $38 million a year towards the state's cash-strapped coffers. That money could be used to create a major skylight and additional doors at the 33rd St. location, the busiest spot inside the 1960's era transit hub.

halo from the river© AE Superlab

The designers, AE Superlab, promise even more thrills:

The Halo: an extremely transparent, lightweight and iconic structure that will serve as a new beacon and landmark along the city’s skylight, celebrating and demarking the location of the station below at street level, bringing enjoyment to millions of visitors, and generating potentially over $1 billion of value for the public sector through private-sector ticket sales.

Of course the last thing the incredibly crowded streets around Penn Station need are another 7.8 million tourists throwing up over them. Is this, as the designers call it, “a smart and optimistic 21st century beacon of aspirational architecture”? Or is it another demonstration of desperation and failure, where the nation can build a ride that goes up and down at up to a hundred miles an hour, but can’t manage to make one that gets you where you want to go horizontally at that speed.

Found on Designboom.

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Tags: New York City | Transportation

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