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Leyva worked on Farley.

Ismael Leyva Architects is an integral part of the design team for the Farley-Penn Station project. The firm has specific responsibility for reprogramming, planning, design and preparation of construction documents for approximately one million square feet of United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities in the 1913 James A. Farley Building and 1935 Annex. This landmark Postal Service facility on Manhattan's Eighth Avenue is currently the largest general post office in the country and the only 24-hour public postal facility in the city.

The New Farley Post Office

Today, the USPS occupies the entire Farley and Annex buildings, which together total 1.4 million square feet and span the blocks between 31st and 33rd Streets, and Eighth and Ninth Avenues, according to Jafar Tabaei, Project Director/Principal in charge at Ismael Leyva Architects PC.

Currently, the USPS is involved in negotiations with various developers and expects to break ground next year. After the project is complete, USPS will continue to occupy approximately one million square feet in the two buildings. On the ground floor of the Farley Building it will maintain its elegant, historic, 24-hour, Eighth Avenue retail lobby. It will also retain portions of this building's second floor and its entire third, fourth and fifth floors. USPS will continue to occupy virtually all of the Annex Building.

This configuration will free up 409,000 square feet on the basement, first and a portion of the second floor of the Farley Building for the new Penn Station. The end result of the combined work will be world class train and airline inter-modal transportation facilities to serve New York's rapidly growing transportation needs, while maintaining excellent postal operations in the region. The Farley Building is the ideal site for the new Penn Station due to its proximity to the existing station and its strategic location above the railroad tracks.

Ismael Leyva Architects' scope of work includes the planning and retrofit of USPS mail processing facilities and administrative offices. ILA, along with the rest of the design team, is also developing a complex phasing plan that will ensure continuous Postal Service operations during construction. USPS will retain access to the railroad below for its mail freight operations.

"We are committed to honoring the landmark Farley Building while making it possible for the US Postal Service to maintain and improve its excellent operations at the site," said Ismael Leyva, President of Ismael Leyva Architects.

The building houses 2,400 postal service employees and processes over 550 million pieces of mail per year. The Farley Building will continue to serve a crucial role as Manhattan's main post office both during and after the redevelopment process.

A Conservation Challenge

The original design of the Farley Post Office Building was the result of a competition among eight firms and was finally won in 1908 with the design of McKim, Mead, and White's newest partner, William Kendall.

The building was constructed between 1909 and 1913 as a monumental and imposing structure, with a 275-foot-wide set of granite stairs lined with 20 Corinthian columns spanning the entire width of the building -- from 31st to 33rd Streets.
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Title Annotation:Ismael Leyva Architects project review
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 20, 2000
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