Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world by the number of platforms. Right now there are 44 platforms and when the Long Island Railroad opens their station it will be 48. It is the world's 6th most visited tourist attraction with a total of 21,600,000 visitors annually. 500,000 to 600,000 commuters pass through Grand Central every day.
There are some really great shopping opportunities in the Grand Central Market, and there is also a wonderful food court.
In researching for this article, I have found that there are a lot of "secrets" in Grand Central. For instance, under the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is a special train car and station that used to belong to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He used to go from the train car to the hotel in his car to hide his disability, and in the pre-television days, it was not widely known that he had polio.
I went back today to take Justin Ferate's free Grand Central Terminal tour. He does this every Friday afternoon. I figured, maybe an hour tour, the usual stuff that you can find on any website. I was pleasantly surprised. The tour starts at 120 Park Avenue, which is across from GCT, at 12:30pm. By the time we finished, it was around 3pm. The information was interesting and even I, a New Yorker who has lived here for 7 years, had no idea about some of it. There is a patch on the ceiling, where it shows what the ceiling had looked like before the restoration. Just a little square. So many little things that he pointed out to us, definitely an afternoon well spent, and will be doing it again. The best place to find all of the tour information is here, and Justin Ferate's website is here.
This is the statue outside. Athena is on the right and Hercules is on the left. The middle statue is Mercury. When he was talking I couldn't hear as well, since we were outside. The clock was made my Louis Comfort Tiffany.
One of the beautiful chandeliers right inside the 42nd Street entrance.
This is Mr. Ferate explaining about why the size of the floor tiles makes a difference in the way people get around without bumping into others...
This is the hustle and bustle of the city on a Friday afternoon in the summertime:
A really cool slideshow of some of the secrets of GCT can be found here. As usual, more of my pictures can be found here.