Grand Central Terminal (GCT)—colloquially called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central—is a commuter rail terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, 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.
The terminal serves commuters traveling on the Metro-North Railroad to Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties in New York State, and Fairfieldand New Haven counties in Connecticut. Until 1991 the terminal served Amtrak, which moved to nearby Pennsylvania Station upon completion of the Empire Connection.
Although the terminal has been properly called “Grand Central Terminal” since 1913, many people continue to refer to it as “Grand Central Station”, the name of the previous rail station on the same site, and of the U.S. Post Office station next door, which is not part of the terminal. It is also sometimes used to refer to the Grand Central – 42nd Street subway station, which serves the terminal.
According to the travel magazine Travel + Leisure in its October 2011 survey, Grand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually.
“One hundred years ago, on Feb. 2, 1913, the doors to Grand Central Terminal officially opened to the public, after 10 years of construction and at a cost of more than $2 billion in today’s dollars. The terminal was a product of local politics, bold architecture, brutal flexing of corporate muscle and visionary engineering. No other building embodies New York’s ascent as vividly as Grand Central. Here, the tale of its birth, excerpted from “Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America,” by Sam Roberts, the urban affairs correspondent for The New York Times, to be published later this month by Grand Central Publishing.” Click Here to Read: 100 Years of Grandeur: The Birth of Grand Central Terminal by By Sam Roberts.
The following is an excerpt from the following blog: Bird Feed NYC:
Grand Central Station History
- 1871- The original Grand Central Depot opened.
- 1898- Grand Central Depot underwent renovations and was renamed “Grand Central Station”. Three stories, a new roof and a new facade were all added.
- 1902- Only four years later, after a deadly accident, plans began to redesign all the tracks and rebuild a new station.
- 1903-1913- Construction of the new Grand Central Station. In 1910, the old station itself was demolished and the new station was completed in 1913.
- 1954- A plan was proposed by William Zeckendorf to demolish and replace Grand Central with an 80-story building. The plan was abondoned.
- 1962- The Metlife Building, originally called the Pan Am Building, was completed and opened in 1963.
- 1994-2000- After the MTA signed a long term lease on the building, Grand Central underwent renovations and restorations.
- 2007- Construction began for the East Side Access project which will connect the LIRR to Grand Central.
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