Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is one of the busiest and most historic of New York's National Landmarks. More than 750,000 people pass through the terminal daily and that number goes up to 1 million during the holiday season. When the original building opened in 1871, its 42nd Street location was well north of most of Manhattan’s homes and business. Today, it sits in the heart of the city; a jewel of Beaux Arts style and an echo of New York’s glamorous past. Click to book your New York City Architecture walking tour.

The History

The historic and iconic Grand Central Terminal
Photo Credit: Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal began as Grand Central Depot in 1871, an innovative new train station servicing New York’s biggest rail lines. It was almost entirely torn down and rebuilt in the years between 1903 and 1913, reborn as the Beaux Arts gem now called Grand Central Terminal. By the mid-1940's, the Terminal was at its peak, with more than 60 million people passing through every year; almost half the population of the United States. Today, Grand Central Terminal is a hub for New York’s many commuter trains. Dozens of television shows and movies have been filmed at Grand Central Terminal, including The Avengers, Carlito’s Way, Midnight Run, even the cartoon hit Madagascar.

Design Elements

The central attraction is the information booth in the center of the concourse, and its four-faced brass clock is probably the most recognizable feature of Grand Central. Visitors to Grand Central Terminal should stop for a moment to soak in some of the incredible design in the building. Look for the sculpted oak leaves and acorns that were symbols of the Vanderbilt family, who once owned the station and whose family motto was "from the acorn grows the mighty oak." You can see some in the chandeliers of the main waiting room. The floors are marble, imported from Tennessee. The walls are adorned with Botticino marble and Caen stone. Outside, on 42nd Street, you can find an imposing Tiffany clock, as well as statues of Minerva, Hercules and Mercury. Don’t forget to look up. The ceiling of Grand Central Terminal is designed to reflect the starry night sky, complete with constellations, including Orion and Gemini. You can lose count of the more than 2,000 stars painted there, and on a dark day, you can see that the stars even twinkle, thanks to some help from electric bulbs. In order to see everything that Grand Central Terminal has to over, visitors can download the Grand Central Terminal tour app to their smartphone, or take a Grand Tour or an audio tour of the terminal. For either tour, just head to the GCT Tour window on the main concourse. Click to book your New York City Architecture walking tour.

Come Hungry Promotion
Grand Central Terminal has lots of places to eat - 35 of them to be exact. Everything from a Oren's Daily Roast coffee or a quick burger at Shake Shack, to some of the most historic fine dining in Manhattan is available here. Grand Central’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant is the oldest restaurant on the Dining Concourse, having served world class seafood since the building opened itself in 1913. It’s as famous for its design as the building it calls home, with its vaulted tile ceilings providing the best acoustics for quiet conversation in the city. For a step back in time, head for a drink at The Campbell Bar, a trendy cocktail lounge often called one of the best bars in the United States. The room used to be the private salon of tycoon John W. Campbell, and its impeccable architecture has been completely restored to breathtaking effect. If you don’t feel like stopping for lunch or a drink, you can spend your time in one of New York’s most popular activities: shopping! Grand Central Terminal has 60 shops inside where you can buy everything from toys and shoes to bath products and sportswear.

Visiting Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, or GCT, is located in the center of New York City's midtown Manhattan, at the intersection of 42nd Street and Park Avenue.

Location: 42nd Street and Park Avenue, New York, NY

Click here to visit Grand Central Terminal official website.

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