Grand Central Station dates back to 1913 and it is considered the largest train station in the world based on the number of platforms (44, all running underground). Back when trains were the most popular means of transportation, up to 65 million travelers would reach Grand Central Station every year. However, as cars and air travel became more popular, Grand Central Station gradually became deserted and, in the end, it was practically abandoned. Homeless people moved in, and by the time the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority leased the building in the 1990s, the station was in pretty bad shape. The MTA spent several years and millions of dollars restoring Grand Central Station to its former glory (they left a tiny spot untouched near the ceiling of the Main Concourse to show how dirty it used to be). Several thousands of commuters now pass through the station every day, and several more thousands of visitors drop by the station every day to admire its architecture or to have lunch at one of the station’s restaurants, the most famous of which probably are Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse and the Oyster Bar. Free guided tours are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:30 pm.
The Beaux Arts Grand Central Terminal opened in 1913; the previous railway station was built in 1871 by Cornelius Vanderbilt and was demolished to make way for the present building. It's best to see the interior earlier in the day, as into late afternoon, we found it quite dark.
The main concourse has three large, curved windows that are 75 ft high. For me, the highlight of the building is the painted ceiling, designed by French artist Paul Helleu. He used a medieval manuscript to create the zodiac constellation design that consists of 2500 stars.
The reason and only reason this beautiful building is still standing today is due to the work and devotion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who in the 1970's fought against city developers to tear this down in order to build a modern station.
Long story short- it was renovated, cleaned up and made into a beautiful center that it is today- complete with a great (!!) food market (Grand Central Market), a restaurant/dining court, the Oyster Bar (a restaurant rated in the top categories), shopping, a landmark clock (which is the perfect place to meet someone) and a cleaned ceiling mural of the constellations.
Vanderbilt Hall, part of Grand Central, hosts exhibits and fairs during the year.
A beautiful gem of a building, left over from when rail travel was the only way to go. It still is a working train station, but is worth visiting and admiring even if you're not traveling by rail. The main, Southern entrance, has sculptures of Mercury, Hercules, and Minerva above the world's largest Tiffany clock.
The main concourse, inside, is mostly marble and truly elegant. The four white sections of the timepiece above the Grand Central Terminal information booth are actually made of pure opal -- and have been valued between $10 to $20 million!
There are many restaurants, a food court, stores, and even the Transit Museum and Gift Shop situated throughout the massive building. (see my 'Off the Beaten Path' tip on the Central Market).
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.
This beaux-arts building is beautiful. This includes the architecture, lighting, amazing ceiling and the general layout of the place.
Just standing in the place and looking around took my breath away - it is like going back in time - the ticket booths are amazing and it was nice to go somewhere that wasn't uber modern - sometimes it isn't always a good thing to have change, and this concourse proves that!
the main concourse is fabulous. the ceiling is beautiful and is certainly worth going to see. The architecture is gorgeous (can you tell I love this place!) We had a meal at Metrazur there and could just sit and watch people go about their business.
If you are there for the holiday period the Vadebilt hall has a christmas market. Its a good place for some local produced crafts and gifts offering something unique.
Just a hint folks....this is still a fully functioning station and sees a ton of commuters particularly early morning and early evening so if you are reading your map or as i was doing staring at the ceiling in awe try and do it out of the way of the people rushing to work or back home at the end of the evening.
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.
Unlike New York's other railway station (Penn Station), Grand Central was fortunate enough to survive demolition in the 1960s. Such a shame this would have been for the grand edifice is of exquisite beauty. It was built in 1913, as a replacement to an older railway station dating from 1871, in a Beaux-Arts style inspired by French architecture. A monumental sculpture of Mercury, Venus and Minerva, created by the French sculptor Jules-Alexis Coutan, was placed above the main entrance facing Park Avenue South. The main hall of the station has a lofty teal-coloured ceiling painted with astrological signs. The entire ceiling, along with the exterior of the building, was once blackened by pollution such that the zodiac signs were not visible. A major restoration project, commenced in 1998 and continued over a decade, restored the building to its former glory and revealed the zodiac signs which had been forgotten. Trains to Connecticut and upstate New York depart from Grand Central, and within the building are a shopping complex and a few popular restaurants and bars.
Apart from being a hive of food service vendors in the lower concourse, a place where you can buy a newspaper or a cup of coffee, and one of Manhattan's few public restrooms, Grand Central Station is a beautiful throwback to the days when rail travel was more prevalent. Trains come daily into the station and leave for upstate New York and New England, but you could never tell this from the outside. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors venture into the main concourse daily. Thanks to recent remodeling, this 100-year-old landmark is clean, beautiful and modernized, well worth a closer look.
Grand Central Station was built in 1913 and is located at Park Avenue and E 42nd Street. It's known to be the World's largest railway station, and also the busiest in the USA. After a 4 year renovation completed in 1998, it has restored this landmark to its former splendour. The ceilings are very high, and I rather enjoyed just strolling around the terminal for a bit as its got a nice atmosphere, and it was also good for getting out of the rain.
Its also right next to the Chrysler Building so you can kill 2 birds with one stone by seeing the 2 landmarks in one go.
Please be advised that it can be very busy during the evening rush from 16:30 - 19:30.
Not Just Grand But Awesome Central Terminal for New York. The feeling is like entering a beautiful museum.
Considered one of the largest train station in the world and beautifully decorated with special galaxy like ceiling which had made it lot of difference.
Still very much important for local new yorker to commute, with it 44 platforms which serves most New York County State and up to Conneticut.
There are many shops and restaurant at the concourse which one of it consist of grand central market, brilliant locations for commuters working in Manhattan.
I used to go through here a lot
but didn't examine this closely.
Read online that a Redstone rocket
was once hung here. The hole in the
ceiling where the tip was is shown here
This is the celestial atlas painted
on the ceiling ( more to follow )
Recently refurbished and cleaned.
This is contrast-enhanced so it can
be seen better (poor lighting usually)
Click on this to see better in detail.
Not just a busy rail station. But there are restaurants and other eateries, cocktail lounges and specialty shops.
The Terminal’s 12,000 square foot former Main Waiting Room, is the site for ongoing free promotions.
The building itself is historic and has been fully restored to it's 1913 splendour.
Well worth a visit, especially if you stop of at Junior's for some cheesecake!
Grand Central Terminal is a very beautiful and famous building. It's hard to believe that it's a train station located in the centre of New York. But Grand Central Terminal isn't only a train station. There are restaurants and shops too. If you go to New York, you've to visit it even if it is for a few minutes.
The first Grand Central Terminal was built in 1871 by shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt during the days ehn most of the old tycoons had their own private trains running around the state of NY to vacation getaways in the Aidrondacks and other summer geaways.
The terminal, however, soon became obsolete when steam locomotives were banned. The new Grand Central Terminal officially opened on February 2, 1913. More than 150,000 people turned out to celebrate opening day. The beautiful Beaux Arts building – with its massive marble staircase, 75-foot windows and star-studded ceiling – was an immediate hit.
Then about 10 years ago, the station began yet another awesome renovation, in which the glorious old celings, marble and brass fixtures were refurbished to their original luster. Once again restored to its 1913 splendor, Grand Central has now become a favorite Manhattan landmark.
Grand Central is now home to five excellent restaurants and bars, a dining concourse, and 50 specialty boutiques.
Another unique features of the terminal in recent years also happens to be a unique personal history project called StoryCorps, located in a booth in Grand Central. StoryCorps is a national project to instruct and inspire people to record each others' stories in sound. In a soundproof booth -- with or without a trained interview facilitator, you can record for posterity, your personal story. The project is modeled after after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s, through which oral-history interviews with everyday Americans across the country were recorded. These recordings remain the single most important collection of American voices gathered to date.
I love going in and out of Grand Central, which perfectly preserves a little of the history and grandeur of old New York in the middle of modern Manhattan.