Grand Central Terminal speaks volumes without saying a word to thousands of travelers passing through its majestic halls every day. This year, the architectural wonder in the heart of Midtown Manhattan celebrates 100 years of public service, with official centennial festivities held on Feb. 1, which marks date the iconic landmark opened in 1913. Poignancy of an all-day re-dedication ceremony was felt as news quickly spread about the death of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch last week.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered perspective at the Friday morning ceremony after a moment of silence, saying "We almost lost this extraordinary building, if you remember, back in the 70s ... as a matter of fact, at that time the whole city was crumbling, and then we elected Ed Koch." City leaders and preservationists, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, championed against changes to Grand Central Terminal and saved it from destruction. In December 1976, the national register of historic places named it a national historic landmark.
Most people dart in and out with little thought given to the treasures, many hidden, throughout the Beaux Arts building where Metro-North Railroad serves hundreds of commuters and remains a top tourist destination. But, Caroline Kennedy, serving as Honorary Co-Chair of the Grand Central Centennial Committee, said her mother "understood how great public spaces can help build community."
Centennial events are planned throughout 2013 at Grand Central, and a stunning multimedia exhibit in Vanderbilt Hall details how the Terminal helped shape modern New York. Popular eateries and other vendors also offered 1913 prices during last week's celebration, ranging from a 19-cent slice of cheesecake at the Oyster Bar & Restaurant to a 10-cent scoop of gelato or shoe shine at Leather Spa. The Grand Central Terminal commemorative USPS Express Mail stamp also was revealed at the kick-off ceremony.
Photo gallery by Tania Fuentez Media