Features of Grand Central Terminal


“I strive to link your ordinary experience – what you see, hear and feel – with the history and culture of New York.”

Peter Laskowich: Historian, Lecturer and Guide

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Features of Grand Central Terminal

Centerpiece of the modern city

Grand Central Terminal is a masterpiece of engineering and design as well as of architecture. It stands as one of the great buildings of the world.

A walk through Grand Central brings to view the spectacular transformation of its main room via renovation, the discriminating use of color and shade to provoke emotional response, and the cues that encourage patrons to move (e.g. – slow down or speed up, gather here but not there) according to the intentions of the designers a century ago.

This is not to mention the capacity of the soaring Concourse to lift and inspire. Such features mark Grand Central as the most humane building in New York.

Then there is the genius behind the weather functions of the tall windows, the Terminal’s secondary function as a mall (per square foot the most profitable in the nation), and the feature that speeds Midtown traffic while allowing the Terminal to otherwise completely dominate (and block) the avenue.

Grand Central’s sister project is Park Ave., which opened as America’s attempt to build a European-style boulevard. It is also part of an enormous metal platform clapped over a vast trainyard below – essential to the enterprise that made the name “Park Avenue” synonymous with elegance and distinction.

Together, Grand Central and Park Ave. transformed the area from a shabby district far from the city’s core to the focus of a massive shift that created Midtown Manhattan – the largest and most powerful business district in the world.

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