The Next Great Train Station
Childs seemed even more excited talking about the plans for
underground than about the new skyscraper he may design.
"For me, what is interesting are the big moves," he
said. "The stuff underground is extraordinary. All the
subways were originally built to compete and now we need them
to work together. The other big move is bringing the people up
from the PATH trains. This will force the development of a
great new public room like that of the new Penn Station or
Grand Central. This will all be set from grade level down.
When you think of the number of people that come on the PATH
and the opportunity to also bring in the Long Island
Railroad.... THAT'S the iffy one. If they can do that, it's a
home run. It creates an opportunity to make one of the most
extraordinary transportation hubs in the world. This is the
only chance the city will ever have to make this happen. If it
can happen and increase the chance of linking to Grand Central
and to Penn Station, this will do more for Lower Manhattan
than all the tax abatements they can give to keep people here.
"This will even make the Stock Exchange, over on its
site, suddenly desirable because it will be the best
transportation place in the city. It can't just be a
connection, there needs to be a great celebratory room where
people can feel welcome and oriented and instantly connected.
Making this room is the exciting commission to me. I really
believe it's going to happen."
Childs' firm designed the proposed new Stock Exchange and
tower to be built across the street from its current location.
After Sept. 11, the idea of a new tower at Wall and Broad Sts.
was scrapped, but state and city officials are still hoping to
build a new trading floor for the Big Board.