Even though Grand Central Station celebrated the Manhattan landmark's 100 year birthday on Feb. 1, this centenarian doesn't look old and decrepit in the least. It simply looks grand. That said, according to this special edifice's very own site, the place where travelers regularly meet under the big clock looks brand spanking new thanks to relentless preservation efforts made by concerned parties who truly care about this particular Big Apple icon.
To give Grand Central its due, thousands of bystanders showed up on Friday to honor the place for which Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once worked in earnest with like-minded comrades to save the structure from extinction.
According to the Associated Press by way of ABC local in New York, this memorable and caring First Lady joined her cronies to make sure the nearly demolished mainstay was declared an official landmark in 1978.
This dedicated lot did this very good deed in order to save this celebrated structure, called one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, from being torn down to be turned into a plain old office building. That's a great relief because this treasured train terminal has so much to offer that goes way beyond simply getting passengers into and out of New York City by riding the rails from this post conveniently located in midtown Manhattan.
Take that big clock mentioned in the first paragraph of this story.
Known as the world's largest timepiece of its kind and made by Tiffany, this gigantic, brass-encased ticker measures 14 feet in diameter and is located at the center of a bevy of striking sculptures at the 42nd Street entrance of Grand Central Station. This clock, an age-old meeting spot, gleams like it was just installed but has actually been in place in this Beau-Arts landmark since the impressive building was erected in 1913.
Also at the 42nd Street entrance of this legendary building are gigantic renditions of the Roman gods known as Mercury, Minerva and Hercules. These heavy art pieces, which weigh a whopping 1,500 tons, were designed in France and then realized on Long Island so that these historical guys could appear in all the glory at the entry to this glorious transportation terminal.
Another area of interest and a real star that exists in New York City's very special train station can only be experienced by looking up. Situated in the voluminous the main concourse, which is always busy no matter what time of the day or night, visitors who take the time to cast their eyes toward the very high ceiling will spot a stunning astronomical mural. The vast painting is extremely expansive, including some 2,500 stars as seen in the Mediterranean sky during the October to March zodiac.
While celebrating the realization that Grand Central Station turned 100 on Friday, fans of this place remember certain things that have happened there over the years. While many of these memories are personal in nature, one is remembered for its daring and very public nature.
That would be the time when, in 1987, high profile tight rope walker Philippe Petit walked a wire stretched across Grand Central's main concourse. Talk about a time and a place to remember.
Meanwhile, during the birthday celebration held on Friday, both Caroline Kennedy and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg were on hand to remember all that Grand Central Station has to offer. So was former Mets star Keith Hernandez, who called the grand terminal "New York's other playing field."
That said, no matter what you call her, it's time to say happy birthday to Grand Central Station, considered a sacred place by die-hard New Yorkers and repeat visitors alike, many of whom were on hand to wish this 100-year-old legend good cheer and an extremely stellar future on Feb. 1.