Grand Central Terminal is a masterpiece of engineering and design as well as of architecture. It stands as one of the great buildings of the world.
A walk through Grand Central brings to view the spectacular transformation of its main room via its recent renovation, the discriminating use of color and shade to provoke emotional response, and the cues that encourage patrons to move (e.g. - slow down or speed up, gather here but not there) according to the intentions of the designers a century ago.
Then there is the genius behind the weather functions of the great windows, the Terminal's secondary function as a mall (per square foot, the most profitable in the nation), and the viaduct that speeds midtown traffic while allowing the Terminal to otherwise completely dominate (and block) the avenue.
Grand Central's sister project is Park Ave., which opened as America's attempt to build a European-style boulevard. It is also part of an enormous metal platform clapped over a vast trainyard - essential to the enterprise that made the name "Park Avenue" synonymous with elegance and distinction.
Together, Grand Central and Park Ave. transformed the area from a shabby district far from the city's core to the focus of a massive shift that created midtown Manhattan - the largest and most powerful business district in the world.
Cost: Free of charge, no registration required
Time: 12:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Place: Inside of 120 Park Ave. - across 42nd Street from Grand Central's main entrance and to the right of the viaduct