The low-rise city that surrounded Grand Central

Today, Grand Central Terminal is a Beaux-Arts beauty lodged among massive office towers and formidable skyscrapers.


Which makes it so hard to imagine that when it opened in 1913, the buildings around it were lilliputian compared to what is there today.

“This doesn’t look much like the old Grand Central, does it?” the postcard’s sender writes to the recipient. It sure doesn’t—this was the Grand Central (with grazing cows nearby!) that came before it.

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8 Responses to “The low-rise city that surrounded Grand Central”

  1. John Warren Says:

    Hey, I seem to have lost your e-mail. Could you please the New York History Blog link url to .org rather than .com? Some Russian dude scammed the .com address. Thanks, and as always, I really enjoy the blog.

    John Warren
    New York History Blog

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks, you got it–it’s fixed.

  3. rdwolff Says:

    And the old Commodore hotel was built on the site to the right of the terminal in that old postcard not long after the postcard was made, then Donald Chump, er Trump came in and destroyed the Commodore, including having workers jackhammer all of the stone carvings on the lower floors flush with the wall, and what we have now is yet another undefined mirrors and glass cereal box.

  4. Kevin Says:

    Adding to Rdwolff’s point; I believe most of Park Avenue within the ten blocks north of the station has been razed and rebuilt twice already; three times for 320 Park Avenue.

  5. Grand Central Station like you’ve never seen it | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] version of Grand Central wouldn’t last long; it would be knocked down and replaced by the current Beaux-Arts beauty by […]

  6. Grand Central is filled with acorns and oak leaves | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] when you’re rush through Grand Central Terminal, it’s impossible not to glance up and notice its breathtaking treasures, like the beautiful […]

  7. The $20 million jewel in Grand Central Terminal | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] clock isn’t Grand Central largest or most commanding. That might be the Tiffany clock on the 42nd Street facade, the largest stained-glass Tiffany clock in the […]

  8. Bennett Boeschenstein Says:

    Sale of air rights saved Grand Central station!!

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