A rescued collection of terra cotta building facade figures–including naked cherubs, smiling porpoises and the head of Neptune–that once adorned an 18-story office building next to Grand Central Station are in need of a new home. The building was demolished to make way for the under-construction One Vanderbilt skyscraper; at the urging of New York Landmarks Conservancy Chair Lloyd Zuckerberg, the new building’s developer, SL Green Realty Corp., saved the three terra cotta panels from the facade of 51 East 42nd Street. Warren and Wetmore, the building’s architects, also designed the station.
Grand Central Station
Terra cotta figures that adorned building demolished for One Vanderbilt construction seek a new home, Thu, May 4, 2017
Even the city’s most public places conceal secrets paved over by the years, some more hidden than others. Grand Central Station is no exception despite the 750,000 or so people who make their way through its halls each day. You may already know of the terminal’s secret train track and whispering walls, but did you know that there are tennis courts in Grand Central? Once an exclusive club run by Donald Trump, the courts are now open to the public—and you can reserve a court at midnight.
Sure, pretty much everyone living in New York City is familiar with Grand Central Station, Central Park and some of our other more notable landmarks, but these well-known locations still hold secrets that even born-and-bred New Yorkers may be surprised to learn. We’ve gathered together just a few to get you started, but in a city this size, with a history this long, there are many more that await your discovery. How many of these secrets were you aware of?
Once upon a time, when 6sqft was not yet launched, a group of writers were asked for their thoughts on their favorite building in New York City. Their choices, some easily recognizable and others a little further from the beaten path, were mixed together with those of a few folks a lot like our readers—interested in and passionate about all things New York. The result? A wonderful blend of what makes this city great: its diversity, not simply demographically but also in the opinions of those eight million souls who weave together the fabric of all five boroughs to create the most interesting city in the world. And it stands to reason the most interesting city in the world is home to quite a few interesting buildings. As one might expect, there was barely a duplicate in the bunch. Some weren’t even on our radar!
Is your favorite on the list? If not, we’d love to know what you think in the comments.
Grand Central Owner Enlists Harvard Professor to Stop 1 Vanderbilt and ‘Unconstitutional’ Seizing of His Rights, Thu, February 5, 2015
Discord around the construction of One Vanderbilt continues to grow, and the latest contender to enter the ring is Harvard Law professor, “liberal constitutional scholar” and President Barack Obama’s former educator, Laurence H. Tribe. Grand Central owner Andrew Penson has tapped the big-time lawyer to battle the city in his fight against the 1,514-foot supertall, according to The New York Times. Yesterday, with Tribe in tow, Penson went head-to-head—yet again—with the tower’s developer SL Green at the City Planning Commission hearing. The meeting got as heated as one would expect, and “unconstitutional” and “ridiculous” were just a couple of the words thrown around.
- Three new residential towers are coming to the High Line. [TRD]
- In what some are calling a PR stunt, the owner of Grand Central has offered SL Green $400 million for One Vanderbilt. [NYT]
- Manhattan commercial real estate is the top ranked in the country. [AMNY]
- Ridgewood, Queens, the hot new neighborhood dubbed “Quooklyn,” had the most active commercial property sales in the city for July. [NYO]
- Last gas station in the East Village will be replaced with condos. [TRD]
- Staten Island might be getting homes built on elevated platforms. [WSJ]
Images- One Vanderbilt (left); The High Line Park (right)
Real Estate Wire: A Portfolio of Parking Lots Worth $250M; Upgrades Planned for Grand Central Get Flack, Fri, September 12, 2014
- The Brooklyn shtetls that have embraced Crown Heights’ new hipster neighbors. [Tablet]
- An Afro-Caribbean has raised $7.5M to turn a long-vacant East Harlem firehouse into a new cultural center. [NYDN]
- New York state’s Empire State Development Corporation is trying to seize seven properties for Atlantic Yards Project through eminent domain. A judge was asked to determine compensation for the properties’ owners. [DNA Info]
- The $210M improvements planned for Grand Central’s subway station have been met with criticism. Locals aren’t convinced that the changes in the pipeline reflect the project’s lofty price tag. [WSJ]
- A package of eight family-owned parking garages in Manhattan and Brooklyn that recently hit the market could net $250M. [TRD]
Daily Link Fix: Boomf Makes Your Instagram Snaps A Little Sweeter; From Ugly Broken Pot to Lovely Fairy Garden, Wed, August 13, 2014
- Have A Picnic in Grand Central Station: Gothamist reports Starting next Monday in GCT’s Vanderbilt Hall, you’ll be able to chow down on lunch or a snack from local food vendors like Zaro’s and Ciao Bella Gelato. Also consider this a dinner-theater because a couple of Broadway show casts will be doing a little song and dance show around 12 p.m.
- Instagram Photos You Can Insta-Eat: Defeating the saying of “take a photo it’ll last longer,” Reuters explores Boomf, a London-based company that prints Instagram
selfiesphotos on marshmallows.
- DIY Turn A Broken Pot Into A Fairy Garden: This makes us want to break some pots just do we can do this DIY. Bored Panada features a new trend among gardeners (and some brown thumbs wanting to get in on the fun) of transforming broken flower pots into extravagant and lovely fairy gardens overflowing with ferns, succulents and moss.
- Now There’s A Use For All Your Sweat: People who over-sweat can now be proud of those beads of water that drip down from their face and underarms! Phys.org looks at a new tattoo biobattery can detect lactate in the body, a natural ingredient in sweat, to recharge small electronics.