A, C, E at 34th St.-Penn Station; 1, 2, 3 at 34th St.-Penn Station
If the walls of the Jacob Javits Center could talk, they'd probably say something like, "It ain't easy being ugly." New York's mammoth, five-block-long convention center may have been designed by brand-name architect I.M. Pei, but it still has the largely charmless feel of the isolated mega meeting boxes that can be found in most major American cities. To be fair, Pei's glass-clad steel latticework exterior skin does allow a ton of natural light into the vast atria and corridors along the Eastern façade; that advantage disappears, though, in the endless, windowless meeting rooms and halls. And simply put, Javits is inadequate. It's only the 18th largest convention center in the country—even Orlando and Baltimore have bigger ones. Plans are underfoot for an expansion contingent on the hotly contested plans for developing the far West Side. In the meantime, Javits continues to host gigantic, wildly popular shows (New York International Auto Show, Art Expo) open to the general public in addition to trade-only events like the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.Extra
The highlight of I.M. Pei's architectural statement is his bravura design for the southernmost atrium: a vast, open space that at its highest point rises 150 feet over ant-like convention-goers.