Visiting Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal or as the locals call it Grand Central Station, is located in midtown Manhattan at the corner of 42nd street and Park Avenue. In terms of platforms, its total of 44 makes Grand Central Terminal the largest train station in the entire world. In addition to its sheer size, Grand Central Terminal is perhaps one of the most gorgeous train stations in the world. Even its history as a train station notwithstanding, Grand Central Terminal would still be legendary based on its architecture alone. While Grand Central Terminal has become one of New York City’s many tourist attractions, it remains a major transportation hub even to this day. In fact, millions of commuters travel through Grand Central Terminal on a daily basis!

The famous Grand Central Terminal façade was built in 1913 by Whitney Warren. The façade, which consists of the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass, features sculptures of Minerva, Hercules, and Mercury. When the façade was first built, many people thought the sculpture was the largest in the world.

Upon entering Grand Central Terminal, visitors find themselves in the majestic Main Concourse. No matter the time of the day, the Main Concourse is always bustling with visitors and commuters. The Main Concourse is both majestic in terms of its aesthetic as well as in size. It measures a remarkable 20 feet wide, 375 feet long and 125 feet high.

One of the first things visitors to the Main Concourse notice is the beautiful blue-green ceiling art. The painting had been obscured from years of tobacco smoke, but a decade-long restoration completed in the 1990s restored the art back to its original glory. Only one small black patch remains to remind visitors what had become of the ceiling before the restoration. The painting is of an abstract sky, where stars are randomly displaced and the sky is actually backwards. Some people say they find special meaning in the abstraction of the painting, but others insist the painter simply made a mistake and reversed the sky on accident. The painter’s family maintained that the sky was backwards because it represented “God’s view” of the sky. And if you happen to check out the Main Concourse at the right time, you might even be lucky enough to catch a laser light show on the ceiling that occurs periodically.

The true star of the Main Concourse is the information booth located in the center of the room. At the top of the information booth is a renowned four faced clock, which some estimate to be worth anywhere from $10 to $20 million.

It is important to note that the terminal’s true name is Grand Central Terminal, not Grand Central Station. Grand Central Station refers to the nearby post office as well as the MTA subway stop located inside Grand Central Terminal.

Also, there are now many restaurants and retail stores located inside Grand Central Terminal. No visitor has to leave Grand Central hungry, or without the perfect keepsake!

Picture Credit: Creative Commons License Photo credit: sunshinecity