Grand Central Terminal

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Architecture, Art, Features, History, Landscape Architecture, NYC Guides

While visiting the major, most popular attractions of New York City can be fun, it can also be stressful, overwhelming and full of selfie-taking tourists. However, the great thing about the Big Apple is that plenty of other attractions exist that are far less known or even hidden in plain sight. To go beyond the tourist-filled sites and tour the city like you’re seeing it for the very first time, check out 6sqft’s list ahead of the 20 best underground, secret spots in New York City.

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City Living, History, Transportation

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The Times Square shuttle platform, Photo by Helvetica Fanatic on Wikimedia 

At the platform of the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle, a train track is hidden in plain sight. At both ends of the two-station line, tracks are numbered 1, 3 and 4, with no Track 2 to be found. As the New York Times explained, Track 2 once ran in its appropriate spot, between Tracks 1 and 3, but was taken out of operation nearly 100 years ago. After an attempt to expand the original 1904 line turned to major confusion for commuters, transit officials covered Track 2 with wooden flooring to make it easier for New Yorkers to walk to the new tracks.

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Midtown East, New Developments

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Aerial rendering of Vanderbilt Plaza courtesy of SL Green

A car-free public space will open this summer between Grand Central Terminal and Midtown’s newest, tallest office building, One Vanderbilt. Renderings released this week, which were first spotted by the New York Post, show a new plaza on a strip of Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd Street to East 43rd Street, situated at the southern end of the iconic terminal. The open space, dubbed “Vanderbilt Plaza,” is part of SL Green’s commitment to invest $220 million in transit improvements in exchange for zoning changes agreed to by the city in 2014.

See the plaza

Events, holidays, Midtown

Photo courtesy of Grand Central Terminal

One of the most unique Valentine’s Day events in New York City is happening at one of the city’s busiest transit hubs. Grand Central Terminal announced it will provide one couple a romantic, private evening under the stars of its iconic main hall as part of a new contest announced Monday. The winning couple, who will get the space to themselves on February 14 between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., will enjoy a three-course dinner provided by Michelin-starred restaurant Agern and a live piano performance from a Steinway Artist, all under the terminal’s constellation ceiling.

How to enter

Events, Midtown East

View from the catwalk, photo via Wikimedia Commons

Grand Central Terminal’s upcoming 107th anniversary isn’t the round number typical of big celebrations, but nevertheless, the NYC icon is marking the occasion with a “major treat” that will appeal to all architecture and history buffs. The catwalk above the Main Concourse—normally closed off to the public—will be opened up for one day only on Sunday, February 2. To take advantage of the rare bird’s eye perspective, you’ll have to register for one of three showings that will take place that day. If this piques your interest, you’ll want to hurry: only 45 spots are available and registration ends at 5 p.m. today.

More info

Midtown, Transportation

Grand Central Station

Grand Central got a questionable makeover yesterday when one half of the retro Departures board was switched to digital displays. The controversial upgrade has been in the works since March and is part of Metro-North’s Way Ahead initiative which will replace the station’s gate boards, digital track indicators, departure monitors and platform displays with a new, modern system that promises brighter, easier-to-read, and more accurate displays that can help curb congestion in the busy terminal.

More info

History, Midtown

Did you know Grand Central’s clock is worth $20M?

By Lucie Levine, Fri, March 8, 2019

Grand Central’s Main Concourse Clock, via Wikimedia Commons

For more than a century, millions of New Yorkers have been meeting “under the clock,” that great rendezvous point – and focal point – of Grand Central Terminal. The clock, which has presided over Grand Central’s Main Concourse since the Terminal opened in 1913, has stood out amidst the swirl of commuters and the flow of time, witnessing reunions of friends and lovers, beginning countless adventures, and playing a priceless role in the life of the city. Or, nearly-priceless. It turns out that appraisers from Sotheby’s and Christie’s have valued the four-sided brass masterpiece at between $10 and 20 million!

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Midtown East, New Developments

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Image: Jennifer Rotner via Flickr.

Developer TF Cornerstone and investment firm MSD Partners have announced plans to purchase and tear down the Grand Hyatt building adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, the Wall Street Journal reports. The hotel brand will eventually return to the site in a form different from the smoked glass-clad building that was Donald Trump’s first major Manhattan development. In its place will rise a mixed-use project that includes 2 million square feet of high-octane office space. The planned development is one of four new towers in the works as a result of a 2017 Midtown East rezoning aimed at encouraging new office buildings as well as infrastructure improvements in the east side business district.

The times they are a-changin’ in East Midtown

Midtown East, Transportation

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Via Wikimedia

It was announced today that a $60.2 million contract to build the project that will bring the Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal was awarded to construction and development company Skanska. The award represents the final heavy civil contract in the MTA’s largest largest capital project and one that marks the first expansion of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in over 100 years.

Find out more

Midtown East, Transportation

Photo via Wiki Commons

The MTA recently purchased Grand Central Terminal for $35 million, a deal which gave the agency more control over development projects happening at the landmark. And in one of their first orders of business, it looks like they’re mulling a massive undertaking to replace the train shed roof, according to Crain’s sources. The shed is a two-level-deep underground space comprised of tracks, bridges, and viaducts used to stage and store Metro-North cars. It runs north of the terminal to East 57th Street and takes up an area larger than 20 football fields. Not only would the project cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take 20 years to complete, but Crain’s notes that it would likely result in many Midtown streets being ripped up.

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