Play

5 Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station
The central train station of New York, which we can see right behind us here, is one of largest and busiest in the world. With 44 platforms, all of which are underground. It does have a bit of an identity crisis though, because you hear some people call it Grand Central Station and other people calling it Grand Central Terminal. But here's the deal, back in 1871, it was actually opened as Grand Central Depot, but then in 1901, it had a big expansion and renovation program and it was reopened as Grand Central Station, and then 12 years after that, 1913, it had some more renovations and was renamed Grand Central Terminal. When you're inside Grand Central Terminal be sure to take a look up to the ceiling because you'll be greeted with a magnificent sight of many stars and constellations. This was created back in 1912 by two artists, Helleu and Basing, and they spent several months just perfecting the perfect shade of blue for the night sky, and of course installing some 2,500 stars, some of which are illuminated with little light bulbs. If you take a closer look, you notice the stars are back to front and there are two theories for this, one, that it was all a bit of a blunder and someone had the blueprints the wrong way round, and the other, perhaps more romantically, that they were trying to imagine what the stars must look like if you're looking down on the Earth from the heavens above. In 1998, a few decades after it was first installed, the ceiling was starting to look rather grubby and they thought this was mainly due to the smoke and pollution from the train locomotives but actually, when they analyzed the material coating the surface, they found it was mostly due to cigarette smoke. Anyway, they did a big cleanup operation, restored the ceiling to its former glory but they left a little one-foot patch there, just to show how dirty it used to be.
-
  • Subtitles
-
New York Public Library

5 New York Public Library

New York Public Library

The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building

1 of 1