New York City architecture is a broad mixture of distinct historical styles that reflect the growth and change of the city. While skyscrapers may epitomize the NYC skyline and it’s global economic importance, I am much more partial to the quiet grandeur of classic structures like Grand Central Station. I never tire of taking in its imposing facade and I am definitely one of those annoying people who abruptly stops in the concourse to strain my neck upward. Grand Central really is just a grand old terminal.
It also happens to be celebrating a major birthday in 2013 – 100 years old on February 1! The station has certainly aged well, although it does help that it was classified as a historic landmark in the 1960s, which helped protect its architectural beauty and ensured its continuing functionality. Travel & Leisure designated it as the world’s 6th most visited tourist site in 2011 (Times Square was #1) with well over 21 million people visiting it annually. In addition to being a main subway thoroughfare, Grand Central has depots for Amtrak, the Long Island Railway and PATH. It also has an impressive allotment of stores, boutiques and restaurants. I actually ate lunch there yesterday. (Thanks Hale and Hearty! I miss you in D.C.)
Huffington Post and Gothamist outline a number of Grand Central’s “secrets” including the fact that its official name is Grand Central Terminal and not Station. I was most interested in learning that the Germans were planning to sabotage the facility during World War II because the terminal was vital to U.S. troop movements on the Eastern Seaboard. Luckily the FBI uncovered the plot before it was set in motion. There is a guided tour…I think most of you will be surprised that I haven’t taken it yet. There’s still time.
See You in the City, friends!
The beautifully painted celing…if you look closely, you’ll noticed the sky was painted backwards and the stars are misplaced. The Vanderbilt family, who paid for the entire construction of Grand Central and commissioned details like the ceiling, could not have been happy.This clock sits atop of the information booth. It’s deceptively plain…each clockface is actually made of opal and Sotheby’s and Christie’s values the clock between $10-20 million.
There are tons of Christmas decorations this time of year and a great holiday market. These Christmas logs are from Zaro’s Bakery…I was tempted to buy one, but I didn’t know what I’d do with the creepy elves once the chocolate was gone!