Grand Central Station: Historic Hub of NYC Commuters

 

  • Location: 100 East 42nd Street
    New York, NY 10017
  • Phone: (212) 340-2583
  • Nearby attractions: NY Library, Vanderbilt Hall, Chanin Building, Chrysler Building

Grand Central Station is  one of the most beautiful stations in the US and it is recognized as the largest in the world according to its number of platforms. It is positioned in midtown Manhattan, between Park Avenue and 42nd Street. Grand Central Station, occasionally referred to as Grand Central, counts 44 platforms and has 67 tracks along them. All the tracks are below ground and are situated on two levels: 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower level.

The terminal is meant for commuter traveling to Westchester, Putnam on the Metro-North Railroad, as well New Heaven and Fairfield counties in Connecticut, and Dutchess NY.

History & Architecture

Grand Central was designed by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore in the Beaux Arts style and constructed in three years (1910 – 1913). It is basically an improvement of the previous train shed called Grand Central Depot which was opened in 1871. In 1976, Grand Central Station was declared a National Historic Landmark . Surrounded by skyscrapers, this extraordinary railroad station can be best seen from Park Avenue South of 42nd Street.

The center of Grand Central also known as the ‘Main Concourse’ is extremely large: 275 feet (84 m) long and 37 m (120 feet) wide. The height is also impressive, the Main Concourse measuring 38 m (125 feet). This enormous main hall is full of activity, no matter if it’s day or night.

The station has always been a meeting place and perhaps its most famous icon is the four-faced clock situated above the information booth. Each clock face is made of opalescent glass although an urban legend says that the faces were made of opal and that their value is estimated at $20 million.

The clock situated in front of the Grand Central Station is made of the world’s largest piece of Tiffany glass and it is best seen from 42nd Street. It is surrounded by sculptures of Minerva, Hercules and Mercury designed by the French sculptor Jules-Felix Coutan.

Grand Central Station – an Undercover ‘City’

Apart from all this extraordinary architectural features, Grand Central is famous for its exquisite staircases, its unique ceiling representing the sky which is decorated with the signs of the zodiac, its public market, and its three famous restaurants: Metrazur, Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, and the Oyster Bar, where tourists can choose between a wide variety of oysters or seafood.

Just like all the great key locations of the world, Grand Central Station has been used in a large number of novels, movies and TV productions such as:

  • Gossip Girl
  • The Avengers
  • Friends with Benefits
  • Men in Black
  • Step Up 3

This key location is often considered the world’s loveliest station and it certainly deserves its popularity. Travel magazine stated in a 2011 survey that Grand Central Terminal is the sixth most visited location in the world, attracting more than 21 million visitors each year.

If you happen to be in New York, you really should visit this technological and architectural marvel.

 

This entry was posted in Fun, Neighborhoods. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *