NYC's observation decks may become old news if this crazy plan to erect the world’s tallest free-fall tower atop the roof of Penn Station becomes a reality. Brooklyn Capital Partners pitched the proposal, designed by AE Superlab, to build a hair-raising thrill ride called “The Halo” atop the transit hub as part of its $3 billion revamp. If built, the 1,200-foot-high ride could even help cover a third of Penn Station’s reconstruction bill with its ticket sales.
Envisioned for the roof of Madison Square Garden or on the back of the Farley Post Office, “The Halo” would rise up as a spectacular and transparent column ringed by eleven gondolas. The gondolas come with adjustable speeds and will be capable of reaching 100 miles per hour. The vertical, urban amusement park ride would soar above the Empire State Building and become an unforgettable icon in the city skyline.
“The technology of our ride is a done deal,” say the developers. “The safety and fun of tower rides has been proven by over 170 rides built by our partners S&S Worldwide globally. Yes, New York’s tower ride will be the biggest and fastest in the world –would we accept anything less? The risks of our proposal have to do not with technology or construction but with governmental approvals. The Key stakeholders must say yes. Specifically, Amtrak, the MTA, New Jersey Transit, and potentially in the case of the existing Penn Station alternative, Madison Square Garden, and 2 Penn Plaza owned by Vornado Realty Trust, have to agree with the City and State that making Penn Station safe and fun at no cost to the taxpayer is a good idea. Getting anybody to agree in New York is a risk, but the payoff is just too big to ignore.”
If given the go ahead, the developers say The Halo could take as few as 20 months to construct at a cost of around $637 million. Their proposal estimates that as many as 7.8 million thrill seekers would visit annually—each paying $35 a ride—and generate up to $38 million a year.