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Photographer's Note

An ordinary view of the main concourse of Central Station, NY. Like me, a set of ten people were shooting from that point of view :)

Reborn as "Grand Central Station," the reconfigured depot’s most prominent feature was undoubtedly its enormous train shed. Constructed of glass and steel, the 100-foot wide by 650-foot long structure rivaled the Eiffel Tower and Crystal Palace for primacy as the most dramatic engineering achievement of the 19th century. The updated station also featured a "classical" façade, a unified 16,000 square foot waiting room, and distinctive ornamentation, including monumental cast-iron eagles with wingspans of 13-feet (In fact, one of these eagles was recently salvaged and will rise again above Grand Central Terminal’s new entrance at 43rd Street and Lexington Avenue and the other one can be found on the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue).

All the while, the age of the steam locomotive was drawing to a close. Earlier efforts to increase safety and reduce congestion, including the Fourth Avenue Improvement Scheme which lowered tracks below grade from Grand Central Depot to 56th Street and created a tunnel from 56th Street to 96th Street, had proved insufficient. Noise and air pollution were chronic, and public concern about safety was on the rise. A catastrophic train collision on January 8, 1902 in the smoke-filled Park Avenue Tunnel killed seventeen and injured thirty-eight, causing a public outcry and increasing demand for electric trains. One week later the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad announced plans to improve the Park Avenue Tunnel and expand Grand Central. By the end of the year, plans were in development -- spearheaded by the New York Central’s chief engineer William J. Wilgus -- to demolish the existing station and create a new double level terminal for electric trains.

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Additional Photos by Carlos CB (belido) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5207 W: 315 N: 5056] (19934)
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