Walking through Grand Central Terminal as a commuter or tourist — or both — and you can’t help but marvel at the landmark’s beauty, beauty that came dangerously close to being as lost as the original Penn Station was more than five decades ago.
It’s true. If it wasn’t for the help of advocates and heavy hitters like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Grand Central very well could’ve been a looming, rectangular tower that would’ve destroyed the architectural beauty we know today that serves 700,000 travelers and tourists daily.
2018 marks both the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that saved Grand Central from that towering fate and the 20th anniversary of the renovation that restored it.
“This building was saved because Penn Station was lost. Grand Central is here because of the incredibly heroic efforts of those who saved this place 40 years ago, and those who restored it over the course of many decades to make it the space it is today, which is a real destination for New Yorkers,” said Amy Hausmann of the New York Transit Museum, which has a gallery annex and store at Grand Central.
To commemorate these historic events, celebrations are planned through Oct. 1, kicking off with Taste of the Terminal, which runs Tuesday through Thursday and offers free food and product samples. Other events include a ‘90s music lunchtime series on Tuesdays in July and August, a September exhibit highlighting Grand Central’s rescue and restoration by the Municipal Art Society, the organization that fought to save it, and more.
To celebrate Grand Central’s official grand opening after its restoration on Oct. 1, 1998, its 90-plus shops and restaurants will offer 1998 prices on certain products.
“Grand Central Terminal demonstrates the lasting benefits that come from investing in infrastructure,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement. “This investment in a terminal that has become an international treasure connects its past to its future, as we are seeing with numerous infrastructure improvements happening all over the city, including at One Vanderbilt, the East Side Access project and with Moynihan Station.”
To see a full list of Grand Central’s anniversary celebrations, visit grandcentralterminal.com/celebrates.