A very impressive building - has been used for filming in "The Untouchables" (when the pram rolls down the steps) "The Fisher King" (when all the commuters start dancing), and at least one episode of CSI that I can remember.
The photos do not do the central hall justice - the lighting is quite dull in a big area so holiday snaps tricky to get right.
Underneath is a dining mall. Many reasonably priced stalls will sell you chilli recipes, stir fries or the usual fast food at reasonable prices, and then you eat in a communal area. There is an acclaimed oyster and seafood restaurant which we did not experience.
Grand central was built at 42nd and Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The station was opened in October 1871; this building was pulled down and replaced with the current building between 1903 and 1913.
There are many café’s and restaurants within the terminal including the famous Oyster bar. A market is also located within the terminal opening seven days a week. The ceiling of the main hall depicts well-known constellations.
You don’t need to be catching a train to justify a visit to Grand Central Station – it’s definitely a destination in its own right! It was built in the early years of the last century, when it became apparent that New York needed a new terminus to deal with the pressures of increased train travel and the changing demands caused by the move from steam to electric engines. The plan involved sinking the tracks and platforms beneath 45th to 49th Streets, which has resulted in the striking appearance of a station terminus without any trains. Construction took ten years and necessitated carving deep into the bedrock of Manhattan Island, excavating 2.8 million cubic yards of earth and rock. The new station eventually opened in February 1913 and was a catalyst for regeneration of this part of the city, with many of the great skyscrapers (such as the Chrysler Building) dating back to that period.
The building declined in the 1950s and 1960s, but in 1976 was designated a National Historic Landmark, saving it from further decline and possible demolition. Urgent repairs undertaken during the 1980s, and a full restoration during the 1990s, have restored the terminal to its former glory. The famous Sky Ceiling has been cleaned, waiting rooms refurbished for use as exhibition areas, and the building is once more a hive of activity and a focus for life in this part of the city.
As with many of the buildings in midtown Manhattan, it’s the Art Deco details that caught my eye as much as the main architectural features. I loved the ornate ticket windows, the lights and signs, for instance. We also had to smile at the way the young woman, captured by Chris in photo 4, was studiously ignoring the sign stood right in front of her! But although you aren’t allowed to sit on these stairs, do go up them for the very best view of the station’s great hall (photo 2).
You can also come here for a good meal. In addition to the standard railway station fare you might expect (there are 35 places to eat in total), there are five “fine dining” establishments, including the famous Oyster Bar. We never got round to coming here however, but if you want to know more about this I recommend you check out sue_stone’s helpful (and not entirely complimentary) restaurant tip.
Whatever you do here though, you’ll soon discover that this is indeed much more than a railway station.
This station is a fascinating piece of architecture & well worth a visit it is huge. In the main hall look up at the barrel-vaulted ceiling which depicts the winter sky displaying 2500 stars a view as God would have seen them, the signs of the zodiac appear on the blue ceiling. The corridors are marbled and in there is a food hall inside with a huge selection of eateries including the reknown Grand Central Oyster Bar. The municipal Arts Society run free tours of Grand Central (well a suggested donation of $10) the tours are wednesday at 12.30pm.
Well... at least to me, apart form the fancy gothic design and interior, it's just another terminal.
Oh, some movie scenes sometimes feature Grand Central interior, so it's kewl to see it at least once.
So when you seen it in the movie next time, you can say: There! I've been there before haha..
Grand Central Terminal was on my 'to do' list for my visit to New York.
I was not dissapointed with this wonderful train station. It has a certain nostalgia for me. So much more impressive on the inside than the outside.
Took an interesting guided tour of Grand Central Terminal where the tour guide will regaled you with stories and history about this beautiful building. The tour lasts 2 hours and covers both inside and outside of the terminal. Donation for the tour is about US$5.
Here are some interesting facts. More photos are found in the Travelogue
- The clock face in the main concourse is made of opal
- The painted ceiling was done backwards by mistake!
- The staircase on the wesit side of the terminal is the original structure whilst the east side is new
- The flooring in Grand Central Terminal is made of pink marble
- The clock on the outside of the terminal where the numeric 6 is is actually a window
- The Kissing Gallery is where welcoming hugs and kisses were given when greeted
- The Whispering Gallery is located in front of the Oyster Bar. This is not a good place to have confidential discussions as you can hear the whisperings of people standing/seated at the 4 corners.
- Originally, there were 12 cast iron eagles placed outside the terminal but only 1 remains today
Grand Central Terminal is also a great place for shopping and food.
Towards the end of our week we made the effort to visit Grand Central Terminal thinking it would be just another rail station but on a larger scale. It certainly was large and busy, far larger than we thought , but it was a beautiful place to visit, all that marble, marble floors wherever you went. The terminal was renovated in recent years.
The terminal was built in 1913, having a massive main concourse dominated by 3 great arched windows that fill the space with natural light. The Grand Stairwase is a must to climb and from here you can take great photos of the building. There are over 40 shops within the terminal and a very nice food hall.
Even if you are not taking a train to or from New York City, you should stop by the Grand Central Terminal, built in 1913 and one of the grand train stations in the US. The attached website has a nice self guided walking tour of the station.
There are also guided tours on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM given by The Municipal Arts Society, suggested donation of $10 per person for this tour, call (212) 935-3960 for more information.
On Fridays at 12:30 PM the Grand Central Partnership has a free 90-minute walking tour of Grand Central Terminal and the surrounding neighborhood, meets in the Sculpture Court of the Whitney Museum at Altria on East 42nd Street across from Grand Central, call (212) 883-2420 for more information.
Great Architecture and people watching. The terminal is huge and everywhere you look there is something interesting to see. The day we were there, they were filming a commercial and there was a huge group of actors dressed in 1940's fashions. Great stuff!
One of New York's beaux arts buildings is Grand Central Terminal. Absolutely beautiful! Just walk around an imagine yourself in say and Agatha Christie story. Yep I know she wrote murder on the Orient Express, and New York is not exactly the Orient, but still..... Inside the terminal building in the main hall you will find a fantastic ceiling. Please do not stand in the middle of the building, or you'll be run over. Do stand on the sides against a wall. This way you'll have he best views and you won't get angry stares.
Not just a suburban commuter station. This is also a venue for casual dining, public events and even tours. The way this station is designed: arched windows, high ceilings, marble floors, vaulted ceiling painting of constellations... it's like walking in a palace. It's hard to believe it's just a terminal.
Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913 as New York City's main rail hub. Today it still serves this purpose, but is has become the next best thing to a shopping mall in the center of the city. With nearly 50 stores and over 20 dining establishments, there are many things to keep travelers and visitors busy spending money.
This area was long a center of rail transportation, even before the existing structure was built. The previous railroad through the city was steam powered, and when replaced with electricity, the entire system redesigned. The new railroad tracks were placed an average of 30 feet underground, and major buildings constructed over the route--such as the Waldorf-Astoria--helped fund the expensive project. After the decline of rail traffic in the US, the grand old station was nearly demolished in the 60s and 70s until the city and federal governments declared it a historic landmark. 1998 marked the opening of the redesigned shopping-mall like interior after $600 million in renovations to the interior and exterior.
There is actually a lot of fascinating history to this amazing train station, not to mention the vibe and business of the place, and the beauty of the main concourse. Interesting to know that there are walkways half-way up in the windows!! Just wait long enough and you will see someone walking across!!!
The entire station was originally covered in black soot from the steam engines. When it was cleaned, they left a black spot in the top right-hand corner so you can see how black the whole station used to be (in the corner, at the edge of the painted constellation ceiling).
The 4-faced clock in the centre is worth over $10million and all of the faces are made of opal.
Must do: just off the main part of the station, in front of the entrance to the Oyster Bar (follow signs to Oyster Bar), there are 4 arches in a square. If 2 people stand at opposite corners (its about 10 metres apart), facing into the corner and talk, you can hear clearly what the other person is saying (called the whispering corner)!!!
Since I stayed one night at the Grand Hyatt which is in the Grand Central building, I had to check out the terminal. Tourist stop or not, I liked Grand Central.
Turns out I was lucky. Grand Central has just completed a full renovation, and that may explain why I found it not only fascinating in architecture but more so how clean and beautiful it was.
The outside clock and sculptures are stunning to look at, and the marble passages look like a movie set. Look up, and directly over your head across the street is the Chrysler building, one of my alltime faves.
Terminal is surrounded on the outside all the way around the block by cafes and restaurants that, while still loud from the close NYC hustle & traffic, look like little oases in the city much like cafes on the main boulevards in Paris. The inside, along with all the great looking passages to the trains is filled with good shopping much like an upscale mall.
My hotel for the last night was Hyatt Grand Central right in the complex, so I got more than a few chances to check it out and enjoyed it very much.
As luck would have it the NYTimes just published a video tour of the updated complex you can find here:
goto NY Times and search for "Video: More Than a Train Station" or click at this link here: More than a train station
Sounds boring: I don't think it is.