Guerrieri: The many megaprojects of Sunnyside Yard

From SABR member Vince Guerrieri at CityLab on March 16, 2020:

On November 27, 1910, New York City celebrated the opening of Pennsylvania Station. An estimated crowd of 100,000 came to see the new Beaux-Arts masterpiece. With slightly less fanfare, Sunnyside Yard in Queens came online that day as well. At the time, the 180-acre floodlit complex was the largest railroad yard in America, serving dozens of trains that now could go straight into Manhattan.

The station is no more — torn down in the 1960s, to become an enduring symbol for the historic preservation movement. Its namesake railroad merged with the New York Central and has also gone the way of all flesh. But the rail yards live on, serving about 780 trains from Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and commuter train lines each day. And in 2020 New York, Sunnyside Yard has become a much-coveted rarity: a large tract of undeveloped land in the biggest city in the United States. But that could be about to change.

In 2014, Amtrak, while making its own upgrades to the yards, developed a partnership to use the land, and three years later, a study outlined the possibility of building a concrete deck over the yards to allow development on top of it. A steering committee made up of various stakeholders went through a series of neighborhood consultations and public workshops, and on March 3, Amtrak and New York City released its Sunnyside Yard master plan.* The development promises 12,000 homes, plus schools, libraries, a new commuter railroad station, a new subway line and a new bus line.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 19, 2020. Last Updated: March 19, 2020.