unbuilt grand central terminal 4Reed & Stem’s original Grand Central Terminal with a tower

The original plans for Grand Central Terminal called for the terminal to be surmounted by residential or office space in order to ensure its financial success. This was a component in all of the original designs per the wishes of William John Wilgus who oversaw the design competition. However, this aspect never became a reality (in contrast to Terminal City). Ultimately, Warren & Wetmore were brought on to design the terminal alongside Reed & Stem (due to the influence of Vanderbilt himself) and they against the idea of having a hotel/office on top of the terminal. By the 1950s, when the New York Central Railroad reached its nadir, it no doubt rued their decision to forgo that revenue stream. (more…)

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, we will be exploring all aspects of the terminal, from its most famous attributes to its hidden treasures. Last week, we showed you what Grand Central could have been if other architects had built it. Now, we will explore the City that was created alongside Grand Central Terminal.

unbuilt grand central terminal 6 Reed & Stem’s original design for Grand Central Terminal

For the past century, New York City has been graced by Warren & Wetmore’s Beaux Arts masterpiece. However, most people are unaware that Grand Central Terminal does not stand on its own. The original plans by Reed & Stem, along with William John Wilgus, called for an entire city to accompany their train station.