Grand Central Terminal New York Reviews
Grand place to see! Jul 26, 2016
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Grand Central Terminal is one of the commuter rail stations in New York that dates back to the early 20th century. Also called Grand Central Station or GCT for short, this station was built, meant to wow visitors whose first impressions of New York was grandness of this place.
The grand concourse area is enough reason to check out this place, as it is really huge and nice to see. The Greek Revival architecture style of the place, is really nice to see. Starting with the main concourse area, which is really grand (pun intended). Really nice to look at, and like a step back in time, as this would be visitor’s first impression to the Big Apple as they arrived from out-of-town.
Other features to look for in the concourse area include: (1) old schedules above the ticket windows, (2) an old clock above the information booth, (3) really nice ceiling art and (4) hanging lights. The hanging lights are also in the Vanderbilt Hall, on the way out, at the 42nd Street entry side.
But there is more to see, as you should venture outside, through the 42nd Street side, which takes you underneath a bridge. Then walk out of the bridge, to see more at the façade of the building. Starting with the statue of Hermes (or Mercury), with Hercules and Minerva sitting on each side of him, located at the top. And in front of it, is the statue of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the guy who built the New York Central Railroad, that connected New York to other parts of the US and Canada.
While it is still a commuter rail station, as it does connect to other parts of New York State, there is a food court and shops. So places to eat and shop as well. And accessible by the subway.
There is the option of an audio tour, which you can pay for, at one of the ticket windows. I think it costs $9, but I did not get one, so I cannot comment on whether it is good or not. But I don’t think there is a need for it.
Regardless, a stop by Grand Central Terminal is definitely worth a look, mainly for its amazing architecture and art. And a good place to do some people-watching. You could say that this place does live up to its name, that it is grand!
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Beautiful station Jan 10, 2016
I was lucky that our nearest station was grand central terminal. I was surprised to see this beautiful, historic station at first. It looks like a museum. The beauty of outward appearance, main concourse, ceiling, balcony and staircase are beyond description. We used 42nd street/S shuttle to Times Square at first. Because we didn't know we could walk to Times Square. The old four-faced clock on the main information booth was not so big, but it was easy to recognize. At lower level you can enjoy grand central dining concourse. If I go to NYC again, I will visit its attractive shops and restaurants. Well I hear Tokyo station became a sister station of this Grand central terminal in 2013.
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Another icon of New York Apr 05, 2010
Another New York City icon that I just had to visit was the Grand Central Station. To me this icon was mainly related to the many movie that had connections to the station. Some of them being movies like; Armageddon, Carlito’s Way, I Am Legend, Men In Black, Midnight Run, The Cotton Club, The Fisher King, Falling In Love, The Taking of Pelham 123 and so on.
The train station was built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains. It is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100.
I was totally taken by the inside; I loved the way that things looked original and the fact that the owners had not made it in to a commercial circus what I have seen many other places; like Copenhagen.
I really liked the old four-faced clock on the main information booth in the centre of the concourse. This is a perennial meeting place, and the four-faced clock on top of the information booth is perhaps the most recognizable icon of Grand Central.
Each of the four clock faces is made from opal, and both Sotheby's and Christie's have estimated the value to be between $10 million and $20 million. Within the marble and brass pagoda lay a "secret" door that conceals a spiral staircase leading to the lower level information booth.
The ceiling in the main concourse is also fantastic. In fall 1998, a 12-year restoration of Grand Central revealed the original lustre of the Main Concourse's elaborately decorated astronomical ceiling.
The original ceiling, painted in 1912 by French artist Paul César Helleu, was eventually replaced in the late 1930s to correct falling plaster. This new ceiling had been obscured by decades of what people thought was coal and diesel smoke. Examinations revealed that it was actually tar and nicotine from tobacco smoke.
There are two peculiarities to this ceiling: the sky is backwards, and the stars are slightly displaced. One explanation is that the ceiling is based on a medieval manuscript, which visualized the sky as it would look from outside the celestial sphere: this is why the constellations are backwards.
Most people, however, simply think that Helleu reversed the image by accident. When they learned that the ceiling was painted backwards, the embarrassed Vanderbilt family tried to explain that the ceiling reflected God's view of the sky.
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Grandeur at Grand Central Apr 11, 2009
Grand Central Terminal was built as the main terminal of the New York Central Railroad. Construction of the vast urban station required 10 years between 1903 and 1913. (As it was built it replaced the earlier 1880s Grand Central Station.)
Everything about the Grand Central is on a grand scale. The station occupies 48 acres. The Main Concourse, designed after a Roman bath, is 275 ft. long by 120 ft. wide and 12 stories high. A map of the constellations decorates the ceiling overhead, as if one was looking through the roof into the heavens. The circular Information Booth is a famous meeting place. Outside, the Beaux-Arts exterior is capped by the sculpture Transportation with Mercury, signifying speed, standing atop the terminal's clock. At its peak in the 1940s, 65 million passengers used the station annually.
The opening of the station affected the city in many ways. It attracted commercial development nearby and in "air rights" over the tracks. The tracks leading north out of Manhattan were placed in a tunnel under Park Avenue, fostering development above them in the upper East Side.
Grand Central is legendary as the terminus for the New York-Chicago 20th Century Limited luxury express train.
Grand Central continues as a transportation hub today as the main terminal for the Metro-North commuter railroad. Metro-North regional lines extend from Grand Central to Poughkeepsie, White Plains, and Brewster, NY and New Haven and Waterbury, CT. (Amtrak's Empire Service intercity train operations moved to Penn Station in 1991.)
Restored in 1998, Grand Central also has restaurants, shops, a produce market, food vendors, and bakeries.
Even if you are not taking a train, a stop at Grand Central affords a look at one of the great structures dedicated to travel.
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Grand Central Station fun Jan 21, 2008
So Grand Central Station (which was originally named Grand Central Terminal) is on the corner of 42nd Street and Park Ave and has 67 tracks for trains. It originally opened in 1871 but was shut down in 1902 after a steam engine collision. They tore it down to prepare for electric trains that would be more safe and it reopened in in 1913.
The ceiling was painted in 1912 by French artist Paul César Helleu to prepare for the 1913 regrand opening. He made to look like the night sky. It is said that it is painted backwards than what you would see if you looked up to the heavens. This is said that it's because it reflects a view of the sky in the Middle Ages.
The main concourse is always fun to look at and people watch. There are a lot of places to take pictures of... but if you get too close to the train platforms the workers will ask you to step back.
Over at one end of the concourse is a restaurant, called the Oyster Bar. I have never been there... but it looks trendy and expensive... but good! Also, down one of the corner tunnels is the New York Transit Museum. Here you will find history about the subway system along with a gift shop with some fun subway memorabilia of lip gloss and socks with the subway map on it, shirts, ties and mugs with train stops on it... games, and towels and key chains, etc.
Also, down a tunnel on the side of the concourse is a delicious pastry stop bakery...
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