Because of its historical significance – along with the similarly boxy Madison Square Garden behind it, Two Penn Plaza replaced the beloved old Beaux-Arts Pennsylvania Station after its 1968 demolition – Two Penn Plaza may be one of Manhattan’s least loved office buildings (sometimes it’s still referred to even today as “the tombstone of the old Penn Station”). But office and retail tenants – and indeed all New Yorkers – should take some comfort in knowing that the tower’s twenty-first century operations are aiming to be much more sustainable than the decisions that led to the destruction of the old Penn Station.
Originally designed by Charles Luckman Associates in the International Style, Two Penn Plaza anchors the Penn Plaza complex of office towers. The 29-story tower itself dates from 1968 and is part of Vornado Realty Trust’s high-performing, 22 million-square-foot Manhattan portfolio of office buildings. Indeed, the 1.5 million-square-foot tower sports dual LEED-EB: OM and Energy Star designations thanks to a recent Vornado-led capital improvement program. Typical office floor plates at Two Penn Plaza range from 58,000 to 63,000 square feet. The glass, steel, and concrete tower is served by 22 passenger elevator cabs and also offers 36,000 square feet of retail space.
With direct access from Seventh Avenue to Penn Station on its lower and underground floors and Madison Square Garden through its ground-floor atrium, Two Penn Plaza is perhaps the most critical anchor to the Penn Plaza complex, where Vornado owns and operates not only Two, but also One and 11 Penn Plaza. Vornado’s sustainable operation and maintenance of these towers – from green cleaning and product purchasing to e-waste recycling, efficient building systems and infrastructure, and Vornado’s proprietary tenant Energy Information Portal – place them firmly in the twenty-first century, despite their controversial past.
- 2 Penn Plaza, New York, New York
- Penn Station
- LEED–EB: OM, Silver; Energy Star
- Vornado Realty Trust
- Charles Luckman Associates
- Year Built
- Square Footage
- 1.5 million square feet; 36,000 square feet of retail
- Earned Energy Stars in 2012, 2011, and 2008 with scores of 79, 78, and 78, respectively; notable tenants include McGraw–Hill, Architectural Record, and the MSG Network.