This morning brought the news that Empire State Development Corporation honcho Charles Gargano thinks James Dolan is behind the effort to delay the conversion of the historic James A. Foley Post Office on Eighth Avenue into the new Penn Station. Why would the Dolans — the family that owns Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden — mess with a very popular and once seemingly ironclad plan? Because they want to build a new Garden on the Post Office spot and use the current Garden space for more-lucrative office buildings.
Let’s consider, shall we, the number of awful consequences that would be wrought by that single construction project.
• It would destroy the chance to restore the old-school, McKim, Mead, and White New York grandeur of Penn Station, a beloved and missed icon.
• It would destroy the current Madison Square Garden, the World’s Greatest Arena, which, despite featuring the World’s Most Pastel Color Scheme, is an amazing and egalitarian mechanism for facilitating 20,000-person simultaneous ape-shit, lose-your-mind adrenaline explosions. Concerts sound good there, too.
• It would re-create said arena across the street, no doubt complete with seventeen tiers of corporate suites and some mouth-filling nomenclature like the Credit Suisse First Boston Cablevision Verizon Mountain Dew Experience at Madison Square Garden.
• Barring some sort of massive cave-in, it would leave Penn Station in something like its revolting present condition.
• And we don’t quite trust the Dolans with the office buildings either. For a measure of these guys’ sense of style, take a look at Jim’s goatee.
We rest our case.