Moving an Icon – Madison Square Gardens Must Find New Home
Madison Square Gardens is given a decade to move to a new location. This sentence was handed down after the council voted 47-1 in favor of moving the icon of New York City.
This vote came after years of advocacy from city officials and independent groups. They are seeking to renovate and expand the Pennsylvania Station which sits beneath the arena.
The original Penn Station was a beautiful structure featuring Corinthian columns, vast hallways, and glass ceilings. This structure was demolished in 1963 to make way for the current Madison Square Gardens, which was built in 1968.
“The approval of this permit offers us a great opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination and allow time to relocate Madison Square Garden to a new and improved home,” Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine C. Quinn said in a statement.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberd was calling for a 15-year permit.
If Madison Square Gardens is unable to find a new location it will have to reapply for a new permit. They will have wait until the current 10-year permit has expired to do so.
The impediment of having Madison Square Garden above Penn Station is stopping progress, according to the council.
“Imagine 220 mph bullet trains that sweep you to D.C. or Boston in 90 minutes or less. These plans are on the table, but they can only be realized with a modern, renovated Penn Station,” said Manhattan Borough President and city comptroller candidate Scott M. Stringer. “That is not possible as long as the Garden sits squarely on top of the nation’s busiest rail transit hub.”
Madison Square Gardens is home to the New York Knicks and Rangers. It was opened in 1879 but has moved several times in those years. This new move just follows a long line of jumping around the city.
The current Midtown Manhattan location has seen many iconic events since its inception in 1968. The most infamous being the “Fight of the Century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1971.