US PRESIDENT Bill Clinton has formally inaugurated a US$484m project to develop a new main building for New York’s Pennsylvania Station, which currently handles almost 160 million passengers a year. In the ceremony on May 19 plans were unveiled to convert the neo-classical Farley Building, which was built for the US Post Office in 1914 to match the old Penn station demolished in 1963.

The project has been promoted by New York Senator Daniel Moynihan for the past six years, during which $350m has been raised in federal, state, city and private funding. Mr Clinton suggested that the station would be ’the first great public building of the 21st century’. Groundbreaking is expected next year, with completion due in 2003.