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Jacob Javits Center Expansion Proposal
Midtown West, New York

In 1986, after many years of on-and-off development, I.M. Pei’s Jacob Javits Center finally opened, to mixed reviews. Because of competition from other cities that had completed their own, larger convention centers in the interim, an expansion to Javits was soon contemplated. The possibilities for expansion, however, were limited by congested site conditions, little public support and financing issues. Several expansion projects were nonetheless proposed, all of them compromised.

The existing building does not exploit its relationship to the adjacent Hudson River. The interior is gloomy and offers no experience of the spectacular water views, except from one remote hall. The possibility of expanding to the west has been precluded by the 1985 demise of the Westway project which included an enormous land-fill extension of Manhattan Island into the Hudson.

Now that development of the riverfront is well underway, we propose a re-thinking of some of the discussions that have become overly restrictive in the wake of the Westway project collapse.