Grand Central Terminal in New York City has intricate designs both on its interior and exterior. These ornate designs contribute to the terminal being one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, with well over 20 million visitors each year.
The Grand Central Terminal is a commuter railroad terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it covers 48 acres, and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Its platforms, all below ground, serve 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.
The Main Concourse is the centre of Grand Central and usually the meeting point for tourists who visit here. This cavernous Main Concourse is usually filled with bustling crowds, and is the scene of the ticket booths are in the Main Concourse, although many now stand unused or have been repurposed since the introduction of ticket vending machines. The four-faced brass clock on top of the information booth is perhaps the most recognizable icon of Grand Central. Each of the four clock faces is made from opalescent glass, though urban legend has it that the faces are made of opal and that Sotheby’s has estimated their value to be approaching $20 million.
On the east side of the Main Concourse is a cluster of food purveyor shops called Grand Central Market. I also noticed an Apple Store and a Shakeshack burger bar here at Grand Central, as well as a Starbucks coffee shop. With the huge number of visitors and commuters using this station each day, I would hazard a guess that these stores are extremely profitable – and what better way to sit back and enjoy a latte with the tannoy announcements echoing all around you!
The 3-storied subway station at Grand Central is actually the second busiest station on the entire New York Subway system (after Times Square). It is very rare to see empty platforms down here in the main parts of the day, but it is a fascinating old-style station, unlike many others on the system, which was actually built over 100 years ago. Lines 4, 5, 6, 7, and the IRT Flushing Line all serve Grand Central on the subway.