8 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    In a space as vast at GCT, there are many many details to see. But what of the untold stories, the countless feet that traveled over those floors? If you go towards track 100 on the lower level, toward the north west corner there is a stairway that heads upstairs. Stop and look at the treads on it someday. The softly rounded edges on the front from 98 years of use. Think about that, you can stand places that have not changed in 98 years in the Terminal. What would have been like to see that space for the first time 98 years ago, the soft pink glow of the marble, the noise, the electric lights and fantasy of seeing such far flung places that you hardly ever heard of, like North Adams, or Watertown, or places that everyone talked about like Detroit or Chicago.

    Back in 81-83 when I traveled through the terminal a great deal, it was a different place. Above the tracks and on the wings of the upper level of the concourse were the old roll signs, frozen in time displaying names of trains long gone, the advance pacemaker, the commodore and the Montrealer. The ticket windows, staffed by then Conrail workers on the right, the Harlem and Hudson soleri boards above the windows, to the left they were OTB windows, with the New Haven boards above those, and going up the ramp to the waiting room were the Amtrak Ticket windows. Yes, Grand Central was still a long distance passenger station with a daily departure to Chicago still. The bathrooms were still at the end of the waiting room, giant spaces where you could shave and change after a long train journey, now dirty, forlorn and reeking of neglect. Paint peeling from the 42 second street passageway ceilings, unchanged light bulbs dark and sooty. The smell of diesel exhaust and the blue haze over the concourse. But Zarro’s was there, a clean oasis where people on the go would stop for a snack or loaf of bread.

    What a space to be in, the happy reunions, the tragic farewells, the movies made and the lives changed as people walked up into the incoming train room for the first time. A place so Grand, then declined to near death, and back again to greatness. That is why it is, and always will be, the Grandest Terminal in the world.

  2. Jennifer says:

    You have quite the artistic eye. I love that you were able to take pictures of Grand Central at Christmastime. I too am always in awe when I step into Grand Central but the station is even more beautiful during the holidays. Thank you for posting this.

  3. Bob says:

    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. I remember Grand Central from the early ’80s too. The Lower Level was a creepy place on a weekend. Amazing how different it is today. The huge waiting room filled with the homeless. Everything grimy (except Zaro’s), but the grandeur still peeked out from behind the grime and advertisements. An amazing sight of what could be when they pulled the lockers out of the Arrivals Room and restored it. A small space but boy did it shine. Restoring the whole building seemed unimaginable back then.

    Also remember Metro-North had an open house in the mid-’90s one weekend. Really cool. Aside from the usual building tours and exhibits, got a chance to see Tower A (when it was still operational) and use the simulators. Very cool.

  4. Tyler Trahan says:

    Have you ever heard of Photosynth? It’s a Microsoft project to map spaces in 3D using photos, and they have great support for huge panoramas like yours – but in 3D. Here’s one I shot of Grand Central Terminal. You can click and drag and zoom in and out. The full-size images is over 41 megapixels.

    The only problem is that, last time I used it, the only way to export a panorama to it was to use Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor. It’s a free download and works great…most of the time. Most of the images you’ve posted with lots of warped straight lines would be completely mangled in ICE. There’s a plug-in for Photoshop to export as a 3D image, but last time I used Photosynth they didn’t work together. They can be embedded in some websites, however. You may have seen this, but if you haven’t…

    Just something to think about from a fellow panorama freak. Thanks for posting – Grand Central Terminal is a truly fascinating place.

  5. Roger says:

    How did you get access to the second and sixth floors?

  6. pathfinder616 says:

    your photographs of Grand Central are wonderful. you have really captured the beauty and essence of this national landmark. one observation i should share…the caption for the historic image of the Pearl River station is not quite accurate. it should read:

    “Dexter Folder Company Sunday picnic outing. Employees and families at the Erie Railroad depot, Pearl River, New York, ca.1910-1913”

    the Dexter Folder Company was located across the railroad tracks from the Pearl River station. the above caption has been published somewhere with the same photograph you have posted but unfortunately i did not record the source.

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