Grand Central Terminal is a magnificent building that deserves to be enjoyed during a trip to New York. It took 10 years to build a large transportation hub of 48 acres, with a total cost of 2 billion dollars. To have 67 railway tracks and construct 44 platforms, 3 million cubic meters of soil and rock were excavated.
Once inside, visitors will be impressed with the large area of 38,000 square meters that lie under celestial ceiling of stars. In this cathedral city of New York, there was a red carpet extended to passenger trains. Grand Central Terminal was ranked as one of the top most visited attractions by Travel and Leisure magazine.
On the anniversary of 100, Grand Central Terminal has the passage of about 100 million passengers since its opening. This iconic building is no longer a mere place of transit passengers, becoming a destination for tourists and residents to search for restaurants, bars, gourmet markets, among other stores. The famous Vanderbilt Hall, once a passenger reception area, is one of the most desirable city’s public spaces for events.
The Architecture of Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is a recognized landmark, notably its facade located on 42nd Street and its main lobby, recognized as major public spaces of New York City. However, this station is not only recognized as an architectural success, but also for its triumph when it comes to civil engineering work. Much of the engineering applied in the construction of Grand Central Terminal is hidden from the public, including the massive two-story underground gallery that functions as a yard.
The world’s largest terminal
The Grand Central Terminal, completed in 1913 was considered the largest railroad terminal in the world. The terminal has a total area of about 70 hectares. Inside the terminal building were provided different halls for arrivals and departures of long-distance trains and suburban trains, in order to simplify the flow of passengers.
Grand Central Terminal is known to efficiently handle the successive increase in passengers over the years, without major structural changes.
Many offices and hotels near Grand Central Terminal, as well as adjacent Metro stations are linked to the terminal by underground passageways lined with shops of various kinds.
Grand Central Terminal History / Interesting facts of Grand Central Terminal
Considered as an iconic meeting point, the information counter in the main lobby has a circular marble and a bronze column in the center, containing a hidden spiral staircase leading to the lower level.
The beautiful astronomical mural is located on the ceiling of the main lobby and describes the Mediterranean sky during the month of October and March Zodiac, with 2500 stars.
Designed in France and manufactured in Long Island, the huge figures of Roman gods Mercury, Minerva and Hercules look to the entrance of Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street. With a weight of 1,500 tons and 20 feet long, the figures were carved separately and then joined outside the terminal.
The world’s largest clock from Tiffany, with about 4 meters, is at the center of the sculptural group at the entrance of Grand Central on 42nd Street.
Philippe Petit, the famous tightrope, walked on a wire in 1987 at a height level of the main lobby of Grand Central Terminal.
Among all the innovations, Grand Central Terminal electrified their tracks in the early 1900s, eliminating the steam trains, thereby allowing a large train traffic and creating an underground station.
Upon completion of the Grand Central Terminal, the train traffic was directed to the underground area, giving greater freedom to expand the terminal.
During World War 2 was released inside the Grand Central Terminal a cafeteria, reflecting the important role of the terminal as a starting point for thousands of American troops.