GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL E 42nd St and Park Ave
Among Manhattan’s transportation hubs, none is more grand than Grand Central. Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the terminal’s exquisite beaux arts architecture was a wonder when it opened in 1913 – and still is today. Saved from the wreckingball fate of its downtown sister, the much lamented Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central underwent a two-year refurbishment in 1998, with the World War II blackout paint removed from the windows and the blue and gold-leaf zodiac mural on the ceiling, illuminated with thousands of lights, completely restored. But this is no historical artifact; Grand Central is the world’s biggest railroad station (by number of platforms) and is one of the nation’s busiest rail hubs, hosting 750,000 passengers a day. The terminal’s assortment of restaurants, pubs and shops – including the famous Oyster Bar – entertain thousands more.
If you happen to be in town on a Friday afternoon, the Grand Central Partnership offers a free, no-reservations-required, award-winning walking tour of Grand Central and its environs guided by real historians. The tour meets at 12:30 PM in the sculpture court at 120 Park Avenue. If Friday’s not on your itinerary, a number of tour options are available via the Grand Central Terminal Web site, including an audio tour and a daily guided tour.Visit grandcentralterminal.com