Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal opened at 12.01 on the first Sunday in February 1913, greeting 150.000 people. Today 750.000 people cross the concourse of the opulent building every day. Grand Central has bars, a food court, restaurants, shops and a branch of the New York Transit Museum to entertain those waiting for a train, as well as the iconic clock as a memorable meeting point. More than 550 trains depart from here. Grand Central was saved from demolition by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The magnificent astronomical zodiac ceiling, located on the vaulted ceiling of the main concourse, was commissioned by the Vanderbilt family from French artist Paul Cesar Helleu in 1912. The constellations were painted back to front, and the Vanderbilts hastily improvised the explanation that it represents a "God's eye view".

The four faces of the clock over the information desks are made from opal; the clock has a value estimated by Sotheby's and Christie's at between $10 and $20 million. The flag commemorates the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

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