2. Biltmore Hotel tunnel

Biltmore hotel tunnel
Biltmore Hotel tunnel.

Like the Roosevelt Hotel, the Biltmore Hotel also featured a tunnel connecting it with Grand Central. One of the Biltmore Hotel’s best amenities was the ease with which guests could come and go using the hotel’s connection to the terminal; guests of the Biltmore would have their luggage collected from the train by porters, and they would then travel via tunnel to an elevator in the hotel’s basement and be carried up into the hotel without ever having to step outside.

The hotel was stripped down to its steel skeleton in the 1980s, and all that is left of the original structure are small remnants like a passageway and an iconic golden clock. The passageway is notable for featuring Guastavino tile work with an arched herringbone pattern, which is found at dozens of other locations throughout the city. The “Tile Arch System” is one of 24 patents that the Guastavino father and son team devised over time while running the family business. The technique is used to create vaulted arches that consist of layered terra cotta tiles arranged in a zig-zag, most often, herringbone pattern and sealed with specialized cement.