8. Palais Garnier/Grand Central Terminal, The Surrogate’s Courthouse, and The Metropolitan Opera House

The Belle Epoque Palais Garnier, now home to the Paris Opera was designed by Charles Garnier and was the inspiration for and setting of The Phantom of the Opera.

The staircases in the Main Concourse of the Warren and Wetmore Beaux-Arts designed Grand Central Terminal were modeled after the stairs in the lobby of the Parisian Palais Garnier. Interestingly, the lobby’s eastern staircase was never erected during the building’s original construction and was only completed when the MTA took over the building in the 1990s.

The lobby of the 1907 Surrogate’s Courthouse, formerly the Hall of Records, was also inspired by the Palais Garnier. The lobby is one of the most beautiful interiors in the City, though few New Yorkers ever stop to admire it. For a visit, catch one of their exhibits at the Municipal Archives.

The lobby of the 1966 Metropolitan Opera House, located at Lincoln Center, was envisioned as a  contemporary version of Garnier’s Paris Opera House.  

Photo via Metropolitan Opera by Marty Sohl.