Grand Central Terminal
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
5:30am - 2:00am (daily)
4, 5, 6, 7, S
(Grand Central/42nd St.)
The first railway line arrived in Manhattan in the 1830s, thirty years later the magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, bought the four operating companies, Hudson River, New York Central, New York & Harlem and New York & New Haven, founding a single large company that has now become Metro-North. By the end of the 1850s, the need to build a large railway station was already evident. In 1871 the Grand Central Depot designed by John B. Snook and financed by Vanderbilt opened its doors. Because of its poor functionality between 1899 and 1900, the station was renovated and the facade was redone, which the project of the railway architect Bradford Gilbert took from three to six floors. The building was renamed Grand Central Station.
Between 1903 and 1913 the entire structure was demolished in successive stages and replaced by the current Grand Central Terminal. This type of execution of the works led to an increase in costs but made it possible not to interrupt the railway service. The contract for the project was won by the architectural firms Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore. During construction, 2,400,000 m3 of earth was removed to create a ten-storey deep underground zone. On February 2, 1913 the new station, with 46 tracks and 30 platforms, was inaugurated with the departure of the Boston Express train. Today the station has 44 platforms on two levels, with 30 tracks on the top and 26 on the bottom.
The main entrance is located on 42nd St. and the facade is dominated by a large clock, topped by three sculptures depicting Mercury, Hercules and Minerva. Further down is the statue of railway magnate Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt.
Inside, the large atrium has a large vault, about 38 meters high, 37 meters wide and 84 meters long, where some constellations are painted. The reproduction of the celestial vault is not very accurate, in fact some constellations are painted correctly as they are seen from the ground but others are inverted. In the middle of the atrium there is an information office surmounted by a four-sided clock which is also a traditional meeting place. There is a small but fine food market, shops and restaurants, including the famous The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant.
There are many films shot in the station, including Twentieth Century (1934), North by Northwest (1959), Cotton Club (1984), Falling in love (1984), Midnight Run (1988), The Fisher King (1991) and Carlito's Way (1994), One Fine Day (1996), Men in Black (1997), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Armageddon (1998), Men in Black II (2002), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), Step Up 3 (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011), Arthur (2011).
Kenneth T. Jackson, Lisa Keller, Nancy Flood
. The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition
. Yale University Press, 2010. pp. 543-544
Gerard R. Wolfe
. New York, a Guide to the Metropolis: Walking Tours of Architecture and History
. McGraw-Hill, 1994, 2° ed. pp. 323-325
. The Architectural Guidebook to New York City
. Gibbs Smith, 2002. pp. 151-153
Grand by Design
(New York Trandit Museum)
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal: An American Icon
100 Years of Grandeur - The Birth of Grand Central Terminal
(The New York Times)
Secrets of Grand Central Terminal