As most New Yorkers know, Grand Central Station was saved from demolition through a well-orchestrated preservation campaign led by the Municipal Art Society, and Jacqueline Kennedy, among others. Saving and then, brilliantly, renovating Grand Central, launched a national preservation movement throughout the country, inspiring similar reclamation projects from Union Station in Los Angeles to Union Station in Washington D.C.
But with all due respect to preserved and restored stations in major U.S. cities – and I’ve seen most of them – nothing compares to the beauty, the grandeur, the breathtaking, soaring space that is Grand Central Station. Whether seeing it for the first time, as thousands of tourists now do, or crossing its marble floors every day of the week, it continues to inspire awe, pleasure and delight.
Grand Central transforms even the most jaded travelers into photographers, as well. Day and night one can see couples, families, businessmen, teenagers, tourists from around the world stopping, staring, and pulling out their cameras and smart phones to record the scene, and to place themselves in it.
One of the first photos I took on my first digital camera was of Grand Central Station. Six years later, I’m still at it, savoring not only the main concourse but the varied vistas, upstairs and downstairs, that make this edifice such an architectural and visual treasure.
Photos by Eleanor Foa Dienstag