New York City Guide

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Grand Central

As you approach 42nd Street and Park Avenue from downtown, you will find yourself facing this triumphant facade. Designed by architect Whitney Warren, it features a fifty foot pediment with statues of Hercules, Minerva and Mercury surrounding a thirteen foot clock.

Grand Central 2Inside, the main concourse is very impressive, the ceiling was painted by the French artist Paul Helleu, with a design based on the  zodiac constellations. Light for the main concourse enters  through three 75ft arched windows. The western double staircase in Botticino marble was based on a design of a large staircase in a former Opera house building in Paris. It connects the main concourse with the entrance on the Vanderbilt Avenue. The floor of the concourse if of Tennessee marble, the walls of Caen stone.

Grand Central 3New York City used to have another equally impressive train station - Pennsylvania Station. Although there is still a Penn Station, the original was an awe-inspiring building of beauty that was torn down in the name of progress.  Grand Central Terminal almost met the same fate but with help from preservationists, including Jacqueline Kennedy, it was declared a landmark in the mid 1960's. Although the Terminal had suffered neglect in the '70's and '80's, a massive four year restoration project has since been completed with amazing results.

Grand Central 4If you're meeting someone at Grand Central, a popular place to meet is by the clock. The famous four-sided, brass clock atop the Information Booth in the centre of the Main Concourse of Grand Central is one of those indelible images of New York. In fact it is not always practical to arrange to meet here as the area around the information booth can get very busy and crowded, also as the clock has four faces, which one do you stand near? In reality this is not a problem, but it is a good excuse to arrange to meet in the cocktail bar just up the marble steps. Here you will find a wonderful view over the whole of the Main Concourse floor, where you can sit, enjoy a leisurely cocktail, and just watch the world rush by.

Grand Central1