Monday, September 9, 2013

20. All aboard to Grand Central Terminal

The last couple of posts have been way up in the air - so today I'm taking you underground ... into Grand Central Terminal ...

GCT is a commuter rail terminal station in the Centre of Manhattan that services most of the US East coast.

Built in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel - before air travel took over - it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms - 44 ... with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100. The terminal covers an area of 48 acres (19 ha).

It has been described as "the world's loveliest station" and it is "the world's number six most visited tourist attraction", bringing in approximately 21million visitors annually ... and I was one of them a few days ago ...




There have been many train sheds on this site during the steam age up until the early 1900's, and the current building went into service in 1913 - with many alterations and additions over the years since.


The large American Flag was hung in Grand Central Terminal a few days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.  






Besides platforms, Grand Central has restaurants, such as the famed Oyster Bay and various fast food outlets surrounding the Dining Concourse on the level below the Main Concourse, as well as delis, bakeries, newsstands, a gourmet and fresh food market, and more than forty retail stores.



 
This year - 2013 - the Terminal celebrates its' 100th birthday ...

There's that bloke again ...



Grand Central and its neighbourhood fell on hard times during the financial crisis of the 1970's and the near bankruptcy of New York City itself, and in 1975 developer Donald Trump put forward a plan to demolish the old terminal and replace it with a more up-to-date facility with a multi-storied building atop it. Many New Yorkers - including Jackie K-O - worked tirelessly to preserve the original building - thankfully ...


 
Since my visit here I have been an actual fare-paying commuter arriving at the Terminal from a couple of destinations ... 
 
Don't know where I'll take you tomorrow ... maybe some more art ...