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New Penn Station to open January 1

The long awaited new Penn Station in New York City is set to open on New Year’s Day, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it’s a sign of hope in a dark and “traumatic” time.

The first Penn Station was opened in 1910, and was considered an architectural masterpiece, but it was torn down in 1963, in what most now believe was a terrible mistake.

For the next half of a century, its replacement, one of the main gateways to the city and the busiest in the nation, was underground, dingy and overcrowded.

Moynihan Train Hall, named after the late U.S. senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, repurposes the abandoned post office across the street from the present Penn Station. Its soaring glass ceiling was originally designed to help postal workers sort mail.

Cuomo, at the ribbon cutting ceremony, said the new station could be a metaphor for rebirth after the deadly pandemic that has ravaged New York.

“As dark as 2020 was, to me, this hall brings the light,” Cuomo said. “Literally and figuratively, it brings the light.” 

It’s hoped that the new station will encourage commuters and visitors to ride the trains when it’s safe to do so again. Mass transit ridership has plummeted during the pandemic.