New Fulton Street Subway Station to Keep Its Dome (Except Not Really)

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Photo: Photo MTA via NYTimes.com


When the concept for a public building includes words like "seashell-shaped glass dome," you can be fairly sure that the final version will be a windowless concrete cube. And, indeed, plans for the MTA's Fulton Street Transit Center, a downtown hub, a few months ago seemed to lose its glass when the authority's board said it needed the money instead for a pedestrian tunnel connecting Fulton with the World Trade Center E train station. "We're not building cathedrals here," the Times quoted a board member saying (in a phrase that, to our ears, encapsulates everything wrong with modern city planning in five words). But wait! Suddenly an engineering solution has arrived — the tunnel could be done on the cheap — as well as some federal funds. The dome is back on! Except it won't be glass. Or seashell-shaped. Or as tall as promised. In fact, it's going to be a fairly squat stainless-steel cone. Oh, well, you take what you can get. We're not building cathedrals here.

Planners Clash Over Transit Hub, and Riders Win [NYT]