Planners Clash Over Transit Hub, and Riders Win
A truce has been called in the battle between form and function that erupted late last year over plans for the Fulton Street Transit Center, a new transportation hub in Lower Manhattan.It appears that subway riders can now look forward to both an architecturally ambitious station and an underground connection to the E train when the center opens in October 2009.
It also appears that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is ready to spend some of its own money to make up the difference between the $847 million in federal funds that have been committed to the project and its current estimated cost of $888 million.
“We are not building cathedrals here,” said one board member, Nancy Shevell Blakeman.
Well, whilst I admire the frugality Ms. Shevell's remark reflects, I've got to point out that the edifice being constructed, with both Federal and MTA dollars, has far more use for an inviting and sublime atmosphere than has any house of worship which has ever been constructed.
Dollar for dollar spent, the value returned on this particular venture, say versus a Sports' complex or mere church (the latter of which would utilize tax free "contributed" money ,) must be computed as astronomically higher.
The "niceties" being debated as necessary are quite practical in terms of both safety and efficacy to riders. For the number of people who will actually benefit from the new hub's existence, it will be exponentially more valuable to the city than any privately funded (especially one using money stolen via the beggar's call of religion) entertainment construction.
Kudos, New York! I hope I get to see this new "Cathedral" of the people first hand and soon.