The $20 million jewel in Grand Central Terminal

brassclockwikiSince Grand Central Terminal opened in 1913, “meet me under the clock” has always meant one place: the magnificent four-faced brass timepiece on top of the information booth in the main concourse.

This iconic 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 world.

But the “golden” concourse clock, as it was called in a 1954 New York Times story about the clock’s restoration, might be the most valuable, to the tune of $20 million.

grandcentralclock

It’s not the brass that makes it so pricey. The four 24-inch wide faces are made out of opal glass.

grandcentralclocktwilightThat, as well as its history and the workmanship of the clock (built by plainly named Self-Winding Clock Company of Brooklyn!) have reportedly led appraisers from Sotheby’s and Christie’s to value it at $10-$20 million.

The clock also features an acorn on top—a symbol representing the motto of the Vanderbilt family (they built Grand Central, of course): “from a little acorn a mighty oak shall grow.”

[Top photo: Wikipedia]

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8 Responses to “The $20 million jewel in Grand Central Terminal”

  1. Newportcarl Says:

    Few things are as iconic. How many of us have seen this spot and ‘met’ there?

  2. Dymoon Says:

    Reblogged this on dymoonblog and commented:
    for all my clock loving friends, had to share this blog..

  3. Bill Burns Says:

    I’m sorry, but this is debunked nonsense. The clock faces are opalescent glass, commonly called milk glass, *not* solid opal, and the story of the auction house valuation has no basis. Read the Wikipedia entry for the facts – the alternative facts quoted in the post were made up and posted to Wikipedia years ago, and the entry there has since been corrected, although not before lots of uncritical readers quoted it elsewhere.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Central_Terminal#Main_Concourse
    Read the annniversary book on Grand Central if you need further confirmation:

  4. Bella Stander Says:

    In the 70s & 80s, “Meet me under the clock” meant the enormous clock between the main concourse & what was then the waiting room–where the enormous flag now hangs. If you wanted to meet someone under the clock you’re referring to, you’d say, “Meet me at the information booth.” But you’d have to specify which side of the booth, else you’d miss each other.

  5. Timothy Grier Says:

    Another wonderful post but I disagree that “Meet me under the clock” has always referred to the GCT clock. The original meaning referred to the clock at the Astor Hotel. It’s a famous line from a movie starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker entitled “The Clock”. It also referred sometimes to the clock at the old Penn Station. Sadly both those clocks are gone.

  6. 2/10: The bodega downstairs, LES Hidden boutiques, Skull found in Queens park | SpotCorner Says:

    […] The $20 million jewel in Grand Central Terminal The “golden” concourse clock, as it was called in a 1954 New York Times story about the clock’s restoration, might be the most valuable, to the tune of $20 million. (Ephemeral New York) […]

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