Work has begun on the re-cladding of PENN 2, a 31-story commercial building at Two Penn Plaza in Midtown, Manhattan. Designed by MdeAS Architects and developed by Vornado Realty Trust, the project involves the replacement of the 53-year-old structure’s dark façade with a much lighter glass enclosure. The 412-foot-tall, 1.61-million-square-foot tower was originally designed by Charles Luckman Associates and stands along Seventh Avenue between West 31st and 33rd Streets, immediately to the east of Madison Square Garden. PENN 2 is one of several buildings in the Penn Station revitalization plan, which YIMBY covered in an article last week.
Recent photographs around PENN 2 show the new floor-to-ceiling glass going up on the southern corner of the edifice, surrounding the midway mechanical ventilation grilles. Those too will be removed and replaced with a sleeker set with wider spacing between the perimeter columns. The ground floor is largely blocked off by construction fencing and gates as the façade steadily gets taken out, although the old and new Penn Station entrances along Seventh Avenue remain open. A mechanical hoist is attached to the southern side of the building. We can also see the thin white outline of where the new protruding two-story section of PENN 2 will eventually extend eastward toward Seventh Avenue. This massive portion of the tower will be held up by numerous pairs of diagonal columns directly underneath.
Additional floor space on the lower portion of 2 Penn Plaza is wedged between the northern corner of the property and Madison Square Garden.
Some of the bare steel columns can be observed for the first time since construction of the building in the 1960s.
PENN 2 will encompass a 430-foot-long frontage spanning 88,000 square feet with double-height, column-free space. The project will also bring upgraded entrances to the subterranean levels of the Midtown complex that link to the subways and Penn Station, corner loggias on the upper floors of the structure, flexible tenant spaces for public or private events, a 275-person town hall, casual lounges, a rooftop pavilion, outdoor green space, and over 1 acre of outdoor terraces. Another big improvement will be a triple-height office entrance, relocated against a new tree-lined plaza along West 33rd Street.
MdeAS Architects expects PENN 2’s overhaul to be completed in 2022, as indicated on its website.