PENN 2’s Re-Cladding Underway at Two Penn Plaza in Midtown, Manhattan

PENN 2 revamped design by MdeAS Architects. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

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.

PENN 2 revamped design by MdeAS Architects. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

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.

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

Additional floor space on the lower portion of 2 Penn Plaza is wedged between the northern corner of the property and Madison Square Garden.

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

Some of the bare steel columns can be observed for the first time since construction of the building in the 1960s.

2 Penn Plaza. Photo by Michael Young

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.

The main lobby. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

The outdoor terrace atop the western cantilever. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

The outdoor terrace atop the eastern cantilever. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

An office conference room. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

A loggia. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

A corner loggia. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

A corner loggia. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

An outdoor terrace. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

The rooftop terrace. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

An outdoor al fresco dining area. Rendering by DBOX for Vornado Realty Trust.

MdeAS Architects expects PENN 2’s overhaul to be completed in 2022, as indicated on its website.

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15 Comments on "PENN 2’s Re-Cladding Underway at Two Penn Plaza in Midtown, Manhattan"

  1. I think I need a bit of a re-cladding also.

  2. Big improvement. This building has been a real eyesore. I was there last weekend and saw the new glass in person. Looks good. I applaud the upgraded space, but note that the city needs to declare eminent domain and force the Dolans out so they can tear down MSG. Vornado also needs to get going on demolishing the Hotel Pennsylvania. A lot of the low-rise trash in surrounding blocks needs to be replaced, as well.

  3. Am a bit confused…

    It looks like they are recladding
    OVER the existing windows? Hard to tell if all the prior windows have been removed?
    Also am assuming the building tenants have all vacated during the recladding project?!

    Somebody please clarify for me.
    Thanks

  4. A definite upgrade and much improved.
    Anyone know of any further plans for One Penn Plaza?

  5. I’m distracted by all the playful dogs in the renderings of the outdoor terraces. Is this a test to see if we’re paying attention? Or perhaps a where’s Waldo moment? Do office buildings allow dogs to travel in the elevator?

  6. This looks pretty nice so far!

  7. Lipstick on a pig

  8. David of Flushing | November 13, 2021 at 7:25 am | Reply

    The old appearance darkened 32nd St. to the east. Hopefully, this will improve matters a bit. I wonder what will become of the salvaged eagles from the first Penn Station.

  9. Current building is absolutely miserable, outside and in.

  10. I will NEVER understand why so many of these recladding jobs ignore/retain the punched windows and just slap glass over everything. It looks terrible at night or when the sun shines on it.

  11. Michael T Bianco | November 15, 2021 at 4:33 pm | Reply

    where are the penn station eagles going

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