In 1913, during the hey days of American long distance travel by railways this station was constructed by the New York Central (NYCR) and Hudson River Railroad. There are about 44 platforms, all below the ground, in this station.
It was first built in 1871, as a depot, at the intersection of Park Avenue and 42nd street in midtown Manhattan with tracks at the street level. Later when the railways traffic boomed during 1870 to 1890 it was expanded to a Terminal with beautiful intricate designs both outside and inside the building.
During the 1950-60, the rail traffic declined forcing commercialisation of this place. In 1968, the railway companies merged and the new entity proposed a 55 story tower over the station. This was opposed by some people including Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Finally in 1978 U S supreme Court upheld the landmark status of Grand Central Terminal.
It now has a number of casual eateries, a gourmet market and other unique shops and it is one of the most visited tourist attraction in the world. In 2013, 21.9 million tourists visited this place.
On 01Feb2013, it celebrated its 100th year.
You need to have time on your hand to really appreciate the beauty of this must see place in New York.
Some fun facts –
- There is a hidden bar in the Grand Central.
- Some of the iron eagles are missing.
- On top of the Grand central there is a Tiffany clock.
- Track 61 beneath the Grand Central still serves as a means of clandestine transportation.
- There is a top secret room that does not appear in the maps
- It has the largest basement of any building in New York.
- The ceiling of Grand Central is backwards.