Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station, officially named Grand Central Terminal, is one big reason that public transportation in New York City isn’t just a way from points A to B, it is part of the experience. Grand Central has been called one of the most magnificent public places in our country, because of its pure size (the biggest rail station in the world by number of platforms), its enormous aesthetic appeal, and the variety of attractions found here. Grand Central Station New York, located near many New York City hotels at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is a must-experience for anyone interested in public transportation, architecture, and sculpted art. Transportation, the neo-classical sculpture by Jules-Alexis Coutan found at Grand Central Station, is a breathtaking work that explores the idea of transit using characters of mythology.
The history of Grand Central is one of constant revision. Built and rebuilt, named and renamed, this site changed with the technology of transport in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Built by the New York Central Railroad, the stations was named Grand Central Depot in 1871, changed to Grand Central Station in 1900, and by 1913 was finally named Grand Central Terminal. The general nature of many of the changes at Grand Central were to simply bury more and more trains underground, freeing up much of the real estate for sale and development, a very lucrative move in Midtown Manhattan, where land is at a premium. Now, both trains and subways are a part of the beating heart that is Grand Central Terminal.
The architecture of Grand Central Station New York is of the Beaux Arts style, which was very popular at the turn of the twentieth century. The half acre of marble is stunning as you enter the main concourse of Grand Central. The massive brass clock, the ceiling depicting New York’s night sky in winter, and the grand marble staircase are all reason enough to visit Grand Central Terminal. Walking tours are offered by the Municipal Art Society every Wednesday at half past noon, a favorite among New York City tours, so take advantage of these to get the full experience of Grand Central.
While you are there, visit the Mezzanine and lower levels for a variety of retailers and restaurant choices. Skip the fast food joints (you can get that stuff anywhere) and ask directions to the world famous Oyster Bar, the oldest business inside Grand Central Terminal. You won’t be disappointed by the food here, or the cocktails and atmosphere of the Campbell Apartment, the converted former office and home of 1920’s tycoon John W. Campbell. The Campbell Apartment is located near the 43rd St./Vanderbilt Ave entrance to Grand Central Station. For a slice of salami or fresh bread, visit one of the delis and bakeries at Grand Central Market (street level). For a slice of history, visit the Grand Central Terminal annex of the New York Transit Museum (the rest of the museum is found in Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn).
Of course, aside from being a historic New York City attraction (added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975), Grand Central Station New York is fully functional station that will circulate you to, or near, many of the places you want to go in New York by way of trains and subways. Plan an afternoon, because Grand Central Station is in the vicinity of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the New York Library of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Madison Square Garden, and countless other Midtown sights. If you want to be right in the center of the life New York City and take Empire State Building or Chrysler Building photos, come to Grand Central Station.
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