LIKE other great cities, New York boasts an impressive historic railway station. The Grand Central terminal was opened in 1913 and originally covered 79 acres of land, and there were 30 platforms with 46 tracks.
Ten years were occupied on the building, and the total cost was placed at $180,000,000. In the course construction six million cubic yards rock and earth were excavated, make way for the tracks, which, in the heart the great city had to placed under the street level.
When opened, the station had the largest interlocking switch and signal tower in the world, accidents within the station and its immediate neighbourhood were ‘declared to be impossible.’
The station has many claims to fame, but the Main Concourse remains the most popular attraction with its elaborately decorated pale-green astronomical ceiling.
There was a time when developers nearly bulldozed this historic terminal. In 1968, plans to build a skyscraper over Grand Central were unveiled – the idea drew huge opposition, most prominently from Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of the late president John F. Kennedy. She remarked: “Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children?”
Thankfully, the station was saved from the bulldozer and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated it a city “landmark”.
Today over 750,000 people visit daily, making it one of the most popular attractions in the city. You’ll find it truly astonishing.