Not every station is synonymous with filth, smell and a place where strange existences congregate. New York’s Grand Central Terminal located in Manhattan is the complete opposite, it attracts with its history, architecture, dimensions and interesting atmosphere that prevails here.
According to Toppharmacyschools, The Grand Central Terminal station, located between Lexington Street and 42nd Street, was opened in 1913. With its 44 platforms, which are divided into two floors located underground, it is the largest station in the world. This track system of two-level platforms is the brainchild of the architecture company Reed & Stem. In the past, the American magazine Newsweek compiled a list of the most beautiful railway stations in the world, and Grand Central Terminal took second place in it, after London’s St. Pancras.
The south facade of the central train station was designed by Warren Whitney in the “beaux arts” style. Above the main entrance you can see a huge clock with the figure of the god Mercury, who according to its author, the sculptor Jules-Felix Coutan, is the god of speed, transport and information transmission. From 1983 to 1992, an extensive reconstruction of this station took place, during which the East Waiting Room was completed. During the renovations, the huge Main Concourse also changed its face for the better. The hall is really spacious, measuring 53 meters in length, 38 meters in width, and arched windows rising to a height of 23 meters on both sides. The floor of the hall is covered with marble sourced from Tennessee, and the roof is provided by a vaulted ceiling, 38 meters high, on which you can see paintings resembling constellations.
The Oyster Bar restaurant is located on the mezzanine level of the station, which is famous for its specialty, which is steamed oysters. While dining, guests can view the ceiling with its beautiful paneling by Gustavian, which had to be restored after a fire in 1966. The station is therefore worth a visit if only from the point of view of architecture, which you will not see anywhere else. Around 125,000 people pass through here daily to use the services of the transport company, but also around 500,000 tourists who came to see the entire complex just out of curiosity.
However, nearby 42nd Street also deserves some attention. During your walk you will come across many interesting buildings, such as the old avant-garde skyscraper McGraw-Hill Building from 1930. It was built according to the design of the architect Raymond Hood and its interior is decorated in the art deco style. The building was also given an interesting nickname – “Jolly Green Giant”. This is derived from the green color of the interior, which matches the external terracotta cladding.
On the opposite side of the street stands the church of St. Holy Cross Church built in 1870 in Byzantine style. There is also the parish church of Father Francis P. Duffy, who was the chaplain of the 69th Unit during the First World War. Duffy Square is also named after him. The building of the no longer functioning Knickerbocker Hotel is interesting. It originally housed a mural by Maxfield Parris, which was subsequently moved to the King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel. It was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor. Across from the public library is the concert hall where George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in 1924.
With its special shape, the WR Grace Building, which has 50 floors and reaches a height of 192 meters, will catch everyone’s attention. The building is relatively new, it was completed in 1971 and one of its remarkable features is the concave vertical slope of the north and south facades, it looks unusually curved. The exterior of the building was created from white travertine, which contrasts with the dark black windows. On Fifth Avenue, you’ll come across the Whitney at Altria – a branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Its massive three-story granite building is in itself a unique example of 20th century art, as it resembles an inverted pyramid. It was built in 1966 according to the design of the Bauhaus movement architect Marcel Breuer. An adjacent courtyard decorated with sculptures can be a pleasant place to relax.
Behind Grand Central Terminal stands the Chanin Building, a skyscraper built in 1926. The skyscraper has 56 floors, the interior is decorated with art deco bronze lattice work by Rene Chamberlain. The popular art deco style can also be seen on the Chrysler Building and the Daily News Building, which until 1995 was home to New York’s first tabloid newspaper. It was built in 1930 by architect Raymond Hood. The building even made it into the film adaptation of Superman, where it represented the fictional headquarters of the Daily Planet newspaper. You can end your tour around Grand Central Terminal at the Ford Foundation Building. It is a glass building from 1967, which already surrounds the public space and the atrium.