Grand Central Terminal by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

Happy 100th birthday, Grand Central Terminal! Since 1913, this has been one of the most famous buildings in NYC and, according to Travel + Leisure, it is now “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction,” attracting more than 20 million visitors each year.

McKim, Mead & White designed the colossal gateway, part of which is shown above.

The well-connected firm of Reed & Stern won the architectural competition to design the terminal but, in a stunning example of nepotism trumping nepotism, the even better-connected firm of Warren & Wetmore was added to the design team [for more details and drama, check out The Birth of Grand Central Terminal].

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

The Beaux Arts building includes 67 tracks as well as shops, restaurants and the Grand Central Market.

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

The ornate details in the Main Concourse are reminiscent of the train station in Harry Potter.

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

In the center of the Main Concourse is the information booth, topped by a large, four-faced clock made of brass and milk glass [widely speculated to be opal, but it's not].

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

The windows in this cavernous space originally let in much more light, before tall buildings surrounded Grand Central.

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

The celestial ceiling was conceived by Whitney Warren [one of the four primary architects] and French artist Paul C├ęsar Helleu. In this design, the stars are slightly displaced and, more importantly, everything is backwards, supposedly to depict God’s view of the heavens [although that would be from above, not below; duh].

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

Check out the lovely Guastavino tile outside the famous Oyster Bar in the Terminal:

Grand Central Termina by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

If she’s not on the 5:19, then I’m gonna know what sorrow means, and I’m gonna cry, cry, cry all the way home:

Grand Central Terminal by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

The decorative details shown above and below are the work of Cincinnati’s own Rookwood Pottery:

Grand Central Terminal by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

Grand Central Terminal by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

For more details on the rich history of this grandiose building, go here, here and here.

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10 thoughts on “Grand Central Terminal by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore

  1. Funny you should ask that! Every previous time I was in/through Grand Central, I was so focused on what I was doing [e.g. running late to catch my train] that I didn’t notice the noise. This last time, I made it a point to slow down and look around and, I was so entranced that I again didn’t notice the noise level. The place is very visually distracting, I guess.

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