Monthly Archives: February 2012

Grand Central Terminal, New York NY

Front Facade

Front Facade

In 1903, a select group of architects were invited to submit designs for the new Grand Central Terminal in a competition. The winning submission, however, was from the St. Paul firm of Reed and Stem.  Reed and Stem had done other work for the New York Central, and Reed’s sister was married to William Wilgus, who by that time was the New York Central’s Vice President in charge of  construction.  Subsequent to the competition, New York architects Warren and Wetmore presented the selection committee with their own proposal for the terminal.  Warren — a cousin of New York Central Chairman William Vanderbilt — succeeded in his “appeal.”  In February 1904, Warren and Wetmore and Reed and Stem entered an agreement to act as The Associated Architects of Grand Central Terminal.  Construction would last ten years.   (This wording is from: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/info/grandcentralterminal.cfm)

 

 

Monumental Statue and Tiffany Clock

Monumental Statue and Tiffany Clock

To give you a feel for the scale of this building, the Louis C. Tiffany Glass Clock is 13 feet in diameter.

Main Hall

Main Hall

Grand Central Terminal officially opened on Sunday, February 2, 1913,and has been a hub of activity ever since.

Main Hall Ceiling

Main Hall Ceiling

 

Relief detail over windows

Relief detail over windows

 

This ceiling was cleaned and restored in the late 1990’s.

 

Light Fixtures around Main Hall

Light Fixtures around Main Hall

All of the lighting fixtures are plated in gold.  I love the form of these and how they float over the passenger ramps.

 

Lighting fixtures over ramps

Lighting fixtures over ramps

 

Lighting fixtures in Vanderbilt Hall

Lighting fixtures in Vanderbilt Hall

 

Vanderbilt Hall had been the main waiting room for the terminal, now it serves as an exhibition and special events space.

 

Outside the Oyster Bar

Outside the Oyster Bar

The ceiling inside and outside of the famous Oyster Bar was done by Guastavino.  The tile is not only decorative, it is structural.

Elaborate marble carving

Elaborate marble carving

The marble in the terminal was carved by a number of skilled artisans and sculptors.

 

Campbell Apartment 1

Campbell Apartment 1

The Campbell Apartment was originally office space for New York Central Investor and 1920’s tycoon John W. Campbell.   The Campbell Apartment has been fully restored to reveal its original architectural details.  It now serves as a cocktail lounge.

Campbell Apartment Fireplace

Campbell Apartment Fireplace

 

Campbell Apartment Ceiling

Campbell Apartment Ceiling

 

Front Facade at night

Front Facade at night

I see many similarities between the facade of the Idle Hour Tennis Court (below) and the Facade of Grand Central Terminal.  The Idle Hour Tennis court was designed by Warren & Wetmore in 1903-1904, immediately prior to their appeal to design Grand Central Terminal in 1904.

 

South Facade Tennis Court Wing of Idle Hour

South Facade Tennis Court Wing of Idle Hour

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Filed under New York City Historic Institution, New York State Off LI