Grand Central Terminal may be the most famous railroad terminal in the world. However, it’s much more than just a terminal. This iconic transportation hub is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and one of the most visited tourist attractions on Earth, with nearly 22 million visitors in 2013 (excluding train and subway passengers). There are plenty of historical sights and beautiful architecture to take in here, along with several dining and shopping options to enjoy. Our New York City personal injury lawyers love the following sights at Grand Central Terminal:
Main Concourse Ceiling
When you’re walking through the Main Concourse, make sure to take a look up at the ceiling. This zodiac ceiling is one of the most striking architectural features of the terminal. It’s cathedral-style and depicts 12 constellations painted in gold leaf, along with 2500 stars – with 59 of them featuring LED lights. The ceiling was painted backward to create the illusion that the ceiling is being viewed from a divine perspective, instead of a human one. This is what the ceiling looked like before it was restored in the 1990s.
Information Booth Clock
This striking Information Booth Clock is one of the most famous sights in Grand Central Terminal. The classic style of the clock makes it easier to imagine what the terminal may have been like in the early days and connects the past and present. It’s also a popular meeting spot, as you can’t miss this iconic timekeeper. The clock is set by the atomic clock in the U.S. Naval Observatory in Bethesda Maryland – this means it’s accurate within 1 second every 20 billion years. The opal Information Booth Clock is valued at approximately $20 million.
The Whispering Gallery is a unique architectural feature of Grand Central Terminal. It features low ceramic arches made with Gustavino Tile and is located next to the Grand Central Oyster Bar 7 Restaurant. The arches have an acoustical phenomenon which allows you to have a conservation with a friend at the opposite corner. And if you’re feeling hungry, you can enjoy a good meal of oysters and clam chowder at the oyster bar.
Grand Central Market
The Grand Central Market offers some of our favorite shopping in the area and is a cultural experience. Here, you can find 13 local vendors selling fresh produce, gourmet ingredients, and other foods. Nations from all over Europe are represented here and it’s a great place to pick up special ingredients for any ethnic cuisine you may be looking to cook.
Tiffany Clock & Park Avenue Viaduct
Outside of the station, at 42nd Street and Park Avenue, you can find the second-most famous clock at Grand Central Terminal. The Tiffany Clock is surrounded by statues of the Greek God which represent values of the railroad: speed (Mercury), strength (Hercules), and intellect (Minerva). The clock is 14 feet in diameter and the largest example of Tiffany glass in the world.
The Pershing Square Viaduct is also in front of the terminal and is lit up with color-changing LED lights to recognize different holidays and special occasions throughout the year. This lighting also makes it easy to spot the terminal from afar.