All images: Circa/Glasshouse Images
Grand Central Terminal (commonly referred to as Grand Central Station) opened on February 2, 1913. Leaving at midnight, a Boston Express train was the first departure from the new terminal, and minutes later the first arrival entered the station. It is estimated that within 16 hours of opening, more than 150,000 visitors moved through Grand Central.
Left: Incline to Concourse, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1915; Top right: West Balcony, Main Concourse, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1915; Bottom right: Incline to Subway and Exits, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1915
The Terminal represented an expansion of the existing Grand Central Depot which had opened in 1871. As the growth of New York City surged during the ensuing decades, so too did the need for a modern and expansive terminal to serve the dramatically increasing volume of passengers and trains. William J. Wilgus, the chief engineer for the New York Central Railroad, proposed expanding the Depot, and received approval from New York Central’s directors, including Cornelius Vanderbilt II, William K. Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan and William Rockefeller. Wilgus hired two firms (Reed & Stern; and Warren & Wetmore) to design and construct the new terminal.
Left: Excavation for Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1908; Top right: Restaurant, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1915; Bottom right: Main Waiting Room, Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, circa 1915
More than 10,000 workers labored on the site, which upon its completion, spurred new construction projects in the midtown area, including the Chrysler Building.
The Terminal covers 48 acres and boasts 44 platforms, more than any other terminal in the world. 22 million people visit the terminal annually and it is one of the most important tourist locations in New York.