Location: East 42nd
Street at Park Avenue,
New York, New York
Architect: Reed & Stern and Warren and Wetmore
Date Completed: 1903-1913
"As a bullet train seeks its target, shining rails in
every part of our great country are aimed at Grand Central Station, heart of the nation's
greatest city. Drawn by the magnetic force of the fantastic metropolis, day and night
great trains rush toward the Hudson River, sweep down its eastern bank for 140 miles,
flash briefly by the long red row of tenement houses south of 125th Street, dive with a
roar into the 2 1/2 mile tunnel which burrows beneath the glitter and swank of Park Avenue
and then... Grand Central Station! Crossroads of a million lives! Gigantic stage on which
are played a thousand dramas daily." -Opening from Grand Central Station
broadcast over the NBC Radio Blue Network, 1937.
Grand Central Terminal is one of the great buildings in America. Combining
distinguished architecture with innovative engineering solutions to the problems of
accommodating the vast network of rail lines, terminal activities and the 400,000 people
who pass through the building each day, Grand Central Terminal functions as a major urban
passenger terminal as well today as it did when it was built.
The main facade is a symphony of arches filled in with steel and glass, all topped by a
huge clock and sculpture group.Inside, the main hall is sparse.The ceiling vault here is
125 across, and painted with the constellations of the zodiac.
In 1978, the Supreme Court upheld the city's right to declare the building a landmark,
preventing plans to build a huge tower over its concourse.Grand Central Terminal is thus
protected from a fate similar to that experienced by 1910's Pennsylvania Station, torn
down in the early 1960's to make way for today's Madison Square Garden Center.