Happy Birthday, Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, 1954/Public Domain

"Railway termini and hotels are to the nineteenth century what monasteries and cathedrals were to the thirteenth century. They are truly the only representative buildings we possess." So wrote the Building News in 1875, according to Apollo Magazine. Grand Central Terminal was built quite a few years after that and opened on February 2, 1913, but certainly has the drama of a great cathedral.

So many train stations fell into disuse after the airplane took over long distance transportation; many classics like Pennsylvania Station were demolished; (though Lawrence Downes has nice things to say about its replacement) others, Like Detroit's Michigan Central Station, just rot.

Arnoldius/ Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0

Grand Central was lucky, and got a glorious restoration in the 90s that brought it back to life, including its wonderful, if astronomically incorrect, ceiling. Cathedrals to transportation have been restored across Europe, and may well across America as rail returns. Happy Birthday, Grand Central Terminal.

Tags: New York City | Trains | Transportation

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