NEW YORK (PIX11) — Hundreds of thousands of people pass through Grand Central daily. It looks a lot different than it did 25 years ago.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the first major restoration of the building from top to bottom.
Today, it’s a brighter place with new LED lights and electronic boards. Areas are open to vendors and to facilitate pedestrian flow.
The ceiling tells a story. That’s where one of the special secrets of the terminal is hanging out.
Crews left a patch of soot and dirt in the corner under the constellation in the shape of the crab.
Frank Prial was an architect on the restoration project in 1998
“We left behind as a souvenir to show the difference between before and after. What we did in the 90s was look for the first time at the building as a whole,” he said.
The clock is a centerpiece and connecting point. Inside the booth under the clock, a staircase takes employees to the concourse below.
George Monasterio is the Director of Grand Central Terminal
“Prior to the restoration, it was a bypass. You go through the building, especially in the 70s and 80s,” Monasterio said.
New stairs and a balcony were added. The area is now used for retail. The Grand Central Market was built in an area used for a loading dock. The dining concourse was expanded and developed.
“It’s a world of difference,” said Monasterio.
The facility is constantly evolving. The expansion known as Grand Central Madison opened in the winter of 2023 after decades of planning and work. It brings the LIRR to the east side.
Part of the new concourse area has been used to park trains.
In the 1970s, the terminal was in danger of being demolished. Former First Lady Jackie Onassis helped save it. A Supreme Court decision in 1978 created a law protecting landmarks.