Grand Central Terminal has a great deal of hidden history and underground secrets, but this powerful image of German helmets taken in 1918 might not be on everyone’s radar. The photo documents a collection of captured WWI helmets from German soldiers stacked in a pyramid shape on Victory Way. The politically potent tower was in view of the employees from New York Central Terminal with the famous train station visible in the background.
Victory Way was set up on Park Avenue to raise money for the 5th War Loan, and a pyramid of 12,000 helmets was erected at each end, along with other German war equipment. While many of the image’s details have been confirmed, the figure that was placed at the top of the pyramid is still subject to speculation. Some commenters believe that it’s Nike, the Goddess of Victory. There are also two cannons located at the left and right of the helmet pyramid.
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Photo via Smithsonian Institute