Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

February 3, 2016

Written by Katherine LaGrave, Conde Nast Traveler

The train terminal turns 103 on February 2, and a new video series celebrates its storied past.

In a world of centuries-old ruins, 103 years of life for a building, may not, at first, seem so notable. But when you look at Grand Central Terminal’s history, you begin to see the significance: In its lifetime, it has been used as a secret entry point into the city by past President Franklin D. Roosevelt, targeted for destruction by Adolf Hitler, and publicly defended—and saved from razing—by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. William J. Wilgus, the engineer responsible for Grand Central’s design and construction, said, “It was the most daring idea that ever occurred to me.”Website Insert State Supported Passenger Trains copy

Today, Grand Central is the world’s largest train terminal. It covers 49 acres, and has 45 tracks serving 63 track platforms, with trains arriving every 47 seconds. Each day, 750,000 people walk through the terminal—nearly the population of San Francisco. While Grand Central today may seem more a bustling way-station than historic monument, Dan Brucker, the station’s resident historian, says there’s more to it than arrivals and departures. “The surprises are so many. It’s everything—from the huge to the minuscule,” Brucker tells Condé Nast Traveler. “And [right next to the unknown artifact] you have people asking, ‘What train can I take to Stamford?'” Here, he shares a few of those surprises with us.

Click here to read the full story.


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