Standaside from the 750,000 daily visitors rushing to and from their trains andadmire the architectural beauty of the majestic Grand Central Terminal. It’salso home to shops and dining options, making it an entertaining one-stopdestination.
Even if you’venowhere to go, a visit to this Beaux Arts building is a heady sensory pleasure.Enter from 42nd Street in Midtown and stroll towards the Main Concourse, thestation’s central area. You’ll recognize this cavernous space from manyHollywood films. Look up for a celestial treat: the 125-foot (38-meter) highceilings, decorated by French artist Paul Cesar Helleu in 1912 with gold leafon cerulean blue oil. The mural depicts the zodiac constellations backwards, anerror some believe was simply an accident. Just below the ceiling, lightstreams in from six 75-foot (nearly 23-meter) arched windows, illuminating thestone walls and marble floors.
In Hollywood moviestyle, make your way down one of the two opulent marble staircases modeledafter the grand staircase in the Paris Opera House. Or rendezvous under themulti-million dollar, four-faced opal clock atop the information booth.
Other highlights ofGrand Central, designed by architectural firms Reed and Stem and Warren andWetmore, include French artist Jules Coutan’s sculptural group of Mercuryflanked by Hercules and Minerva on the building’s facade. The sculpturesurrounds a 13-foot diameter clock containing the world’s largest example ofTiffany glass.
Still one of thelargest transport hubs in the United States, Grand Central Terminal has 44platforms and 67 tracks. There are two underground levels servicing surroundingparts of New York, as well as parts of Connecticut. If you visit with an emptystomach, the Dining Concourse, below the Main Concourse, has a range ofoptions, including the iconic Oyster Bar and Restaurant. Opened in 1913, it’sthe oldest establishment in the terminal. There’s a brilliant example of thetiled vaulting system designed by Spanish immigrant architect Rafael Guastavino,whose work can be seen in more than 200 buildings in New York City. Otherexamples include the Cathedral of St John the Divine and the Registry Hall atEllis Island.
GrandCentral Terminal is located at E. 42nd Street and Park Avenue. It’s a majorsubway, rail, and bus terminal.