For 100 years, people have dashed through the halls of Grand Central Terminal, rushing to catch the train that will bring them home to a warm meal.
They have shopped in its 68 stores for a gift that shows their loved ones that they think about them, even during those mundane, tedious commutes.
And once in a while, they have paused to admire the beaux-arts facade, to gaze up at the constellations painted on the ceiling of the main concourse or to unwind with a martini at the world-famous Oyster Bar.
Grand Central Terminal, geographically and spiritually placed at the center of New York, is celebrating its centennial this year in a style befitting a building that has starred in dozens of films, hosted numerous boxing matches and played a significant, if overlooked, part in the day-to-day lives of millions.
This month kicks off the yearlong festivities, including a stunning multimedia exhibit through March 15 in Vanderbilt Hall that focuses on the history and the future of the terminal. And from March 6 through July 7, visitors can admire “On Time: Grand Central at 100,” a collection of artwork about the terminal by contemporary artists. Poets and musicians will gather on April 10 to praise their stone muse; the following day, experts will discuss the concept and creation of the terminal. May 11 and 12 are strictly for train buffs, when a parade of historic trains will fill the station, and on May 22, the Metro-North suburban rail line will offer its Grand Getaway Day featuring a number of weekend destination trips that demonstrate just how far you can get, physically and mentally, from Manhattan.
Feb. 2, 1913
The first train departs Grand Central Terminal at 12:20 a.m.
Feb. 16, 1930
The world’s largest power substation opens 100 feet underground, providing power to the terminal.
Dec. 31, 1947
Grand Central concludes its busiest year to date, with 65 million visitors.
March 7, 1963
The Pan Am Building is completed above part of the terminal.
Aug. 2, 1967
Dec. 8, 1976
The National Register of Historic Places designates the terminal a National Historic Landmark.
A master plan for terminal revitalization is commissioned.
April 7, 1991
Long-distance train service at the terminal ends.
Oct. 1, 1998
The terminal fully reopens after an expansive, two-year renovation.
Feb. 1, 2013
The terminal is rededicated to mark its centennial.