15. A Remnant of the Biltmore Hotel and Hidden Guastavino Tiling

Biltmore Hotel Tunnel at Grand Central Terminal

A remnant of the Biltmore Hotel can be seen on the western end of Grand Central Terminal. This tunnel once connected the grand Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore designed hotel, part of “Terminal City,” to Grand Central Terminal. Access to the train terminal was an attraction for famous guests like F. Scott Fitzgerald and J.D. Salinger. Untapped New York’s Cheif Experience Officer Justin Rivers noticed the familiar herringbone tile pattern back in 2018 and discovered it is the work of master arch maker Rafael Guastavino.

The Biltmore Hotel closed in 1981 and redesigned as 335 Madison Avenue. Today, the Guatavino tiled tunnel is used as a parking garage. The entrance can be found on 44th street between Vanderbilt and Madison. If you visit the garage at night when no cars are parked in it, you will find various cab stop signs engraved on the ground, spread about eight feet apart from one another. Guests of the Biltmore arriving at Grand Central Terminal could have their luggage collected from the train by porters, travel via tunnel to an elevator in the hotel’s basement and be carried up into the hotel without ever having to step outside.