Today marks the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, that iconic building where many people from all over the world have visited to marvel at the architecture, catch a train, visit the coolest bar in New York City, (the Campbell Apartment), go shopping or simply people watch. When I was on assignment for National Geographic Traveler Magazine, I was assigned to cover this icon of New York architecture. I learned many things about the massive complex, which included a tour of the underground tunnels designed for the purpose of evacuating presidents and other dignitaries in the case of an emergency. The ceiling has been restored, but one small patch was left to show how much environmental pollution from the trains had damaged the original fresco. There is still the hole in the ceiling from where a rocket was displayed back in the 1950’s when NASA miscalculated the height of the rocket by 6 inches, the zodiac on the ceiling is depicted backwards, (with speculation that this was a mistake by the artist), and the clock faces above the information desk remain the most valuable items in the main hall as they are made from the precious stone, opal. Christie’s and Sotheby’s estimate the clock to be worth between ten and twenty million dollars. This image has stayed in my portfolio for many years because I find it to be a constant reminder of my love of New York City.
Happy Birthday Grand Central!