History of Grand Central Terminal

212Access February 5, 2013 Comments Off on History of Grand Central Terminal

By Aydan Aslan

Grand Central Terminal is more than a popular tourist attraction. It is an experience. It’s like you can feel the history and the lives of the people who have walked through their from another time.

On my first day in New York City, I arrived in Grand Central Terminal with my suitcase in hand and immediately felt a connection. I was tired after an 11-hour flight to New York, but I didn’t even think about my exhaustion. As I looked at the walls that surrounded me, I felt as if Grand Central – or even New York – was hugging me.

Grand Central Terminal is one of the most popular and oldest tourist attractions in New York City. It officially opened on February 2, 1913, when trains were a means of luxury.

Since then, the 100-year-old building has inspired filmmakers, writers and artists with its massive beauty.

Many New Yorkers pass through Grand Central everyday without knowing the secrets between the walls. Here are the some little-known facts about Grand Central Terminal that will liven your senses the next time you walk through it.

*Everyday more than 750,000 people walk through Grand Central, which is the entire population of Alaska, and the entire population of the state of North Dakota.

*Few people have ever seen or walked through Track 61. It was originally created as a secret platform, leading into the Waldorf Astoria. It was built for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who wanted to hide the fact that polio confined him to a wheelchair.

*There is a whispering gallery in front of Oyster Bar on the lower level, which is very popular for marriage proposals. The acoustics of the domed passage make a whisper sound like a yell. If you want to test it, you and a friend have to stand in opposite corners of the large arched space and face the corner and whisper. You will hear them as if they are next to you.

*Underneath the famous clock inside the information booth on the Main Concourse lies a hidden, spiral staircase that leads to the lower level. And that clock above the information booth is made of opal glass.

*The building is actually called Grand Central Terminal even though most New Yorkers confuse the name and call it Grand Central Station.

*All movies filmed at Grand Central are shot on track 34 because it is the only platform without columns. The station’s first-ever movie appearance was in 1930’s Puttin’ on the Ritz.

*The constellations on the ceiling of the Main Concourse represents the Mediterranean sky during the October to March zodiac, featuring 2,500 stars. The Artist, French painter Paul Helleu modeled it from God’s point of view so it is reversed.

* There was an exclusive railroad line which ran between New York and Chicago in 1920s.The porters laid out red carpets over the length of Grand Central Terminal’s platform for movie stars and rich people every time they arrived.

Watch the video to go inside Grand Central Terminal.