Grand Central: The “Station” That’s Really a Terminal – and more you may not know.
Posted: February 1st, 2012
Grand Central is host to many points of interest, not least of which is how often it is incorrectly referred to as a station. Learn all the fascinating tidbits about this truly Grand New York City Attraction.
Grand Central. The massive commuter rail terminal in Midtown Manhattan in New York City was originally built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in 1871. Between 1899 and 1900, the structure was reconstructed and renamed Grand Central Station. But, by 1913, the entire building was replaced again over the course of a decade with what is still there today – Grand Central Terminal.
Because all the lines end at Grand Central’s train yard, the more appropriate and accurate term for it is “terminal” rather than “station.” Although, to confuse the issue further, “Grand Central Station” is the name of a nearby post office and is also used to refer to a New York City subway station at the same site.
Whatever it’s called, it is not only an incredibly popular New York Attraction through which more than 700,000 people travel every day, but according to Travel + Leisure magazine in an Oct. 2011 poll, it is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction.”
Comprised of 41 tracks on the upper level, 26 on the lower, restaurants, delis, bakeries, newsstands, an annex of the New York Transit Museum, a food market, and more than 40 retail stores, it also features several unique points of interest that may make your visit there particularly fascinating.
There are many Times Square Hotels to choose from in New York City including Milford Plaza Hotel – A Times Square Hotel. The Milford Plaza Hotel is located a block from NYC’s Times Square and close to many Manhattan Activities, NYC City Tours, Manhattan Events and NYC Shopping, New York City Restaurants and NYC Landmarks including Grand Central Terminal.
View our NYC Hotel Special Offers >
Check Rates or Make Reservations > or call: 888.352.3650
Frequently referred to as Grand Central’s “secrets,” many of these tidbits are revealed on a public audio tour or self-guided walking tour of the building:
- The famous opal clock above the information booth on the main concourse is valued at $20 million.
- The main exhibition hall can be rented out for $25,000 a day – and books up well in advance.
- Oak leaves and acorns decorate the terminal as a symbol of the Vanderbilt family, which financed the building’s construction.
- Every light bulb is bare in recognition of the Vanderbilts who wanted to show off the electric power they’d financed.
- Approximately 2,000 lost-and-found items are tracked each month.
- Metro-North’s lost and found boasts an 80% success rate for items making there way back to owners.
- An unintentional “whispering gallery” was created by brittle Guastavino tiles that enable the mutterings into one corner to be heard clearly in the corner across the hall.
- A “secret” basement called M42 houses AC to DC converters and is not depicted on any design plans.
- All the clocks in the Terminal are synced to the atomic clocks of the U.S. Naval Observatory.
- A divot in the Main Concourse’s ceiling remains as the result of a Redstone missile display in 1957.
- An American flag has hung on the south side of the Main Concourse since the 9/11 attacks.
- A clock made of Tiffany glass overlooks 42nd Street.
Grand Central Terminal, a thruway for millions of commuters every week, transports modern passengers to the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains. On your list of preferred New York Attractions, visit the impressive Beaux-Arts-style Grand Central Terminal and see if you can identify all its “hidden” tidbits in the midst of the constant bustle.
Grand Central Terminal Hours:
Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Shops are open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Grand Central Terminal Phone:
Metro-North Railroad information: 800.METRO-INFO. Grand Central event information: 212.340.2210.
About Milford Plaza Hotel - A Times Square Hotel
Milford Plaza Hotel is located in the heart of New York City, surrounded by Times Square, the Broadway Theater district, Manhattan’s best restaurants and nightclubs, the Empire State Building, the subway, shopping and more – and is undergoing a $140 million renovation to remain among the best NYC Hotels in Manhattan with 1,300 Guest Rooms and Guest Suites.
The Milford Plaza Hotel is readying all new Guest Rooms, Lounge, Fitness Room, and accommodations that will impress guests worldwide. This historic Times Square Hotel is perfectly located near all NYC Activities and Attractions that bring visitors to Manhattan – for business or pleasure. Jacob Javits Convention Center, the financial district, Madison Square Garden, MOMA, Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, Greenwich Village, and much more is within minutes by walk or ride. Come see the best of NYC and stay at The Milford Plaza Hotel – the favored destination for a Times Square Hotel.
When visiting New York City, choose Milford Plaza Hotel, an Affordable NYC Hotel with Discount Manhattan Hotel Room Rates.
Visiting New York? Choose Milford Plaza Hotel - A Times Square Hotel located close to Times Square, Javits Center, Madison Square Garden and Rockefeller Center.
Take a Photo Tour of Milford Plaza Hotel - a Times Square Hotel.