Silver Signals Openness to PATH Hub Cuts at Ground Zero

silvergetty Silver Signals Openness to PATH Hub Cuts at Ground ZeroWith The Times giving details today on the changes being considered to the Santiago Calatrava-designed PATH hub, we caught up with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver out at the Democratic National Convention in Denver to get his reaction to the news that the Port Authority may put columns in the signature main hall of the station, which was to be open.

Mr. Silver did not take a firm position either way, but signaled openness to scaling back the aesthetics of the planned iconic station.

"Obviously, the functional purpose of it is still important, and we ought to watch that we get what’s going on there as quickly as possible, get it moving," he said. "If there’s a reasonable balance [between aesthetics and cost], we will take a look at it as a community, and hopefully be able to discuss it and move it ahead."

Mr. Silver had taken a hard line against the M.T.A. when it announced it did not have enough money to build the iconic aboveground oculus of the nearby Fulton Street Transit Center, publicly insisting that they find the money and finish the station in a manner similar to what was proposed.

The cash-strapped M.T.A. seems to have taken the advice of the powerful Assembly Speaker, as the agency’s new capital programs director vowed earlier this month to build an aboveground structure, though the $300 million or so in needed cash is not yet there.

Mr. Silver said he has been pressing this issue in Denver. "I’ve had conversations here every day with the Governor, and we’ve really got to get that going," he said.