The Famous Grand Central Station in New York celebrated a special occasion in 2013: its 100th anniversary! And the station has not skipped a beat: 600,000 people (which equates to the population of San Francisco) use the station daily!
When I stepped into the great hall of the station for the first time, I was truly overwhelmed. What becomes immediately apparent is that, compared to other train stations, Grand Central is surprisingly quiet. You look around and see hundreds of people around you, yet strangely the noise level seems to be manageable. Along with the size of the main terminal this causes a strange sensation of calm which is very unique for a train station.
Largest train station in the world
Grand Central Station is the largest train station in the world and is the busiest building in New York City in terms of visitors.
Did you know: the painting on the ceiling (image of the sky) was painted in its mirror image. Why, you ask? The painter accidentally held the image upside down! The official reason, of course, is that this effect was by design. The painter claimed that the image reflects God’s view of the sky from the celestial sphere, i.e., from above, and not from below.
Restored to its former glory
Since 1998, after undergoing a 600 million dollar, 8 year restoration, Grand Central Station is gleaming in its former glory. It stands protected as a national historic landmark since 1976 and several hurdles had to be cleared during the renovation process.
The whispering arches
There are some great architectural features of Grand Central, such as the iconic golden clock that sits atop the information booth in the center of the station. Many people are also interested in the whispering arches which can be found on the dining concourse near the famous Oyster Bar & Restaurant. If two people stand on the opposite sides of the arches, the sound is amplified by the arches making it much louder on the other side. Simply face towards the wall and speak at a normal volume and the ceramic arches will amplify the sound across the 10 meter space in the middle to the other side.