Grand Central

Grand Central Station is one of the busiest commuter hubs in the world.

A little Wiki info on Grand Central…

Grand Central Terminal (GCT)—colloquially called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central—is a commuter rail terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44, with 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100. When the Long Island Rail Road’s new station opens in 2016 Grand Central will offer a total of 75 tracks and 48 platforms. The terminal covers an area of 48 acres.

Some consider Grand Central a place beauty filled with much history and allure.

The Ceiling 

In autumn 1998, a 12-year restoration of Grand Central revealed the original luster of the Main Concourse’s elaborately decorated astronomical ceiling.

The original ceiling, conceived in 1912 by Warren with his friend, French portrait artist Paul César Helleu, was eventually replaced in the late 1930s to correct falling plaster.

This new ceiling was obscured by decades of what was thought to be coal and diesel smoke. Spectroscopic examination revealed that it was mostly tar and nicotine from tobacco smoke. A single dark patch remains above the Michael Jordan Steakhouse, left untouched by renovators to remind visitors of the grime that once covered the ceiling.

There are two peculiarities to this ceiling: the sky is backwards, and the stars are slightly displaced. One explanation is that the constellations are backwards because the ceiling is based on a medieval manuscript that visualized the sky as it would look to God from outside the celestial sphere. According to this explanation, since the celestial sphere is an abstraction (stars are not all at equal distances from Earth), this view does not correspond to the actual view from anywhere in the universe. The stars are displaced because the manuscript showed a (reflected) view of the sky in the Middle Ages, and since then the stars shifted due to precession of the equinoxes. Most people, however, simply think that the image was reversed by accident. The ceiling was deliberately[citation needed] painted in reverse by the artist Giovanni Smeraldi.

When the Vanderbilt family learned the ceiling was painted backwards, they maintained that the ceiling reflected God’s view of the sky.[citation needed]

There is a small dark circle in the midst of the stars right above the image of Pisces. In a 1957 attempt to counteract feelings of insecurity spawned by the Soviet launch of Sputnik, Grand Central’s Main Concourse played host to an American Redstone missile. With no other way to erect the missile, the hole was cut so the rocket could be lifted into place. Historical Preservation dictated that this hole remain (as opposed to being repaired) as a testament to the many uses of the Terminal over the years.

See What Eye See…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Grand Central

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s