I am a fan of New York City so when I heard that today is the 100th Anniversary of Grand Central Station, I just had to write about it. I think New York City is a wonderful place to visit, though I wouldn’t want to live there. I love it for it’s diversity – any city that has a flower district is all right by me – and for it’s history, so rich in culture and the epitome of the birth and life, the socio-economic life, of a city in these every changing United States. These are a few pictures I took on my last visit there this last summer.
When I visited the city after graduating from college in 1983 – I’m dating myself here – the station was dirtier and not as posh. The very clean vestibule I picture here had a good share of homeless people camped out in it. There were shops the food vendors then, but it wasn’t as high class as it is today. The city did a wonderful job cleaning it up in the 1990s.
Here are few fun facts: Grand Central Station is the largest indoor public space in New York. It was built by the Vanderdilt family – they owned the New York Central Railroad at the time. It has (had?) more tracks and train platforms than any other station in the world.
I remember seeing a long line of train tracks and platforms just off the main area then discovering there was another whole set right underneath it! When I lived in Connecticut, I would take the commuter train from Westport into the city. I was amazed as how many people did that each and every day- and still do!
Daniel Brucker – manager of the GCS tours – says that 750,000 people walk through the station every day – that is more than the entire population of Alaska! I was amazed to learn that in the 1960s the New York Central Rail Co. was bankrupt and there was talk of tearing down the building and building another sky scraper – just what New York needed! At the time, the building was in a sad state of disrepair. Luckily many others saw the importance of preserving this building – including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – so the Supreme Court established the landmark conservancy act with Grand Central Station being the first building it saved. It is a must see spot in any New York City tour.