Subscribe

NY’s Grand Central Historic Dates


Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 1, 2013 Last Updated: February 4, 2013
Related articles: United States » New York City
Print E-mail to a friend Give feedback

Photo from May 10, 1912 of Grand Central Terminal under construction. Note the absence of skyscrapers, which allows for a clear view of the skyline over the terminal. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Photo from May 10, 1912 of Grand Central Terminal under construction. Note the absence of skyscrapers, which allows for a clear view of the skyline over the terminal. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1831
Construction begins on the first railroad in New York City, the New York and Harlem Railroad. The first section opened in 1832 and ran between Prince Street and 14th Street in the Bowery. Construction continued in sections until 1852, running north to Chatham, N.Y. The first railcars were drawn by horses. Steam engines were introduced in 1837, to partially replace horses.

1871
The first Grand Central Terminal is built by shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The building housed three railroads with separate waiting, baggage, and ticketing areas for each. It was virtually obsolete upon completion.

1902
Years of bans on steam locomotive use in addition to public dismay culminate in a public outcry when a fatal train crash occurs, instantly killing 15 people and injuring 38. The crash occurred in a tunnel where steam obscured visibility. A week after the accident, railroads proposed plans to improve safety. Before the end of the year a proposal was in place to demolish the current station and build a two-level, all electric terminal.

Grand Central Terminal clock and its statuary are shown in an undated photo. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Grand Central Terminal clock and its statuary are shown in an undated photo. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1903
Construction begins on Grand Central Terminal and continues for the next 10 years. Despite the scale of the project, both above and below ground, rail service continues uninterrupted.

This is Grand Central viaduct and terminal in an undated photo. Note the absence of the Pan Am building (now the MetLife building) behind the terminal. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

This is Grand Central viaduct and terminal in an undated photo. Note the absence of the Pan Am building (now the MetLife building) behind the terminal. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1913
The terminal opens its doors to the public. More than 150,000 people visited it that day.

Grand Central Terminal viewed from the viaduct, prior to the renovation, in an undated photo. The completed Pan Am (now MetLife) building is in the background. Note the dirtiness of the facade, including the columns and statuary. The letters in Grand Central Terminal beneath the clock are nearly impossible to make out. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Grand Central Terminal viewed from the viaduct, prior to the renovation, in an undated photo. The completed Pan Am (now MetLife) building is in the background. Note the dirtiness of the facade, including the columns and statuary. The letters in Grand Central Terminal beneath the clock are nearly impossible to make out. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1913
An entire neighborhood begins to grow around the terminal. The Yale Club and the Biltmore Hotel open their doors shortly after Grand Central. Many others follow suit in subsequent years, including the Chanin Building, the Lincoln Building, the Chrysler Building, Hotel Commodore, and the Graybar Building.

Here is a view of the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal on Dec. 16, 1914. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Here is a view of the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal on Dec. 16, 1914. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1930
The terminal flourishes, remaining the busiest train terminal in the nation. Various art exhibits and events take place in its halls.

Tracks 28 and 29 viewed from the main concourse of the Grand Concourse Terminal in an undated photo. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Tracks 28 and 29 viewed from the main concourse of the Grand Concourse Terminal in an undated photo. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1947
More than 65 million people travel via Grand Central Terminal in the course of this year—the equivalent of 40 percent of the United States population.

This is View of the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal around 1980s. Note the nearly pitch black color of the ceiling, which would take a year to wash clean during the renovation. The Kodak panorama advertisement and the bank branch beneath it would be removed during the renovation to make way for a new marble staircase. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

This is View of the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal around 1980s. Note the nearly pitch black color of the ceiling, which would take a year to wash clean during the renovation. The Kodak panorama advertisement and the bank branch beneath it would be removed during the renovation to make way for a new marble staircase. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1967
Grand Central Terminal is designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Committee. The commission was formed in response to the demolition of the original Penn Station.

We are looking at a view of a passageway in Grand Central Terminal around 1937-1940s. The lettering found throughout the terminal was used as the basis for the popular Gotham family of fonts, according to Thinking With Type, a typography book. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

We are looking at a view of a passageway in Grand Central Terminal around 1937-1940s. The lettering found throughout the terminal was used as the basis for the popular Gotham family of fonts, according to Thinking With Type, a typography book. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1968
A proposed tower is to be built atop the terminal with much of the facade to be covered up and part of the main concourse demolished. The Landmarks Commission, backed by several public advocates, blocked the plans. Penn Central, the owner of the building, sues the city.

The clock in the middle of the Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse is shown in this photo from around 1960-1970. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

The clock in the middle of the Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse is shown in this photo from around 1960-1970. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1976
After nearly a decade of litigation and public advocacy spearheaded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Brendan Gill, the building was named a national historic landmark, ending the legal debate. Although the building was saved, lack of maintenance became a real threat: the roof was leaking, the ceiling was nearly pitch black from decades of collecting cigarette tar, and structural steel was rusting, among other problems.

Ticketing windows in the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal are shown in this photo from around 1940s. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

Ticketing windows in the main concourse of the Grand Central Terminal are shown in this photo from around 1940s. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1988
A renovation is commissioned by MetroNorth.

1990
A $425 million renovation plan is approved by the MTA.

A ramp leads down to the lower level concourse in Grand Central Terminal in an undated photo. Ramps became key to keeping the terminal from getting crowded as they allow for smooth movement of large crowds and baggage. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

A ramp leads down to the lower level concourse in Grand Central Terminal in an undated photo. Ramps became key to keeping the terminal from getting crowded as they allow for smooth movement of large crowds and baggage. (Courtesy of MTA/MetroNorth Railroad)

1992
One of the first renovated spaces opens to the public. Previously used as a waiting room, the hall was converted to a special events and exhibitions space.

1998
Major internal and external renovations are completed, with minor improvements to be made over the next decade. The building is rededicated, to much national and international media attention.

2012
Grand Central solidifies as a true New York City icon—not only in terms of transportation, but its eateries alone draw an estimated 10,000 people daily for lunch. In addition, the terminal becomes one of the most successful shopping centers in the United States.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Please send news tips to nyc_news@epochtimes.com

 




GET THE FREE DAILY E-NEWSLETTER


Selected Topics from The Epoch Times

C W  Ellis