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The Secrets of Grand Central Tour

04/18/2013 at 2:46 pm

Grand Central Centennial main concourse Untapped New York

Did you know there is a tennis court inside Grand Central? Or that the ceiling is backwards? Untapped Cities Events is hosting a “Secrets of Grand Central” tour led by Untapped Cities architecture writer and guide, Tamara Agins, author of our popular series on Grand Central. Bonus: the tour ends with a drink at the Campbell Apartments, the Gilded Age office and salon of tycoon John W. Campbell, now converted into a soaring hidden bar.

Join us on Sunday, May 12th at 2:30pm, only 20 tickets available:

The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it.  It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises.  On this tour, we will tell you these stories — about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as preserved icon of past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together,  we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it.  Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or it’s your first time in the Beaux Arts beauty, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.

About Tamara Agins: A native New Yorker, Tamara Agins works for the Department of City Planning and gives tours for the Municipal Art Society. With a background in political ecology, she is engaged in issues of urban sustainability and climate resilience in the NY-Metro region. She is always up for an adventure.

Check out more Untapped Cities events here.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, Untapped Cities brought you three installments of “The Secrets of Grand Central.” Here’s a recap of the top 10 facts you didn’t know about Grand Central.

1. The ceiling is backwards. The painting of the constellations on ceiling of the massive, cathedral-like Main Concourse is backwards. No one knows for sure how the mix-up occurred, but the Vanderbilt family claimed that it was no accident; the zodiac was intended to be viewed from a divine perspective, rather than a human one, inside his temple to transportation.

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Untapped New York is a proud to be a partner of Let’s Go, with our shared vision for off-the-beaten path exploration in your own city and while traveling. To launch the collaboration, we curated a list of  our top “Untapped” places from our home base in New York City. These are all tried and true urban exploration sites that we’ve gone behind the scenes to cover on Untapped New York. How many have you been to? What others would you add to the list?

1.  The TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport

Decommissioned in 2001 after the construction of the Jet Blue terminal, this cathedral to aviation by Eero Saarinen  fills you with the pride and optimism the aviation industry had in the 1960s. Preservation efforts have saved it from the wrecking ball and there are proposals to turn the TWA Flight Center into a hotel.

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