Can you see the teal “48” on the floor in the picture below? This subtle and often overlooked sign is part of a color-coded wayfinding system in Grand Central Madison that applies to the whole station.

45th Street floor tile wayfinding sign at Grand Central Madison
48th Street

The concourse of Grand Central Madison, deep below the historic train terminal, stretches from 48th Street to 43rd Street. To help commuters navigate this massive space, a color-coded system was devised to mark each cross-street. Each street from 48th to 45th Street has its own artwork and a signature color. 48th Street is teal, 47th is purple, 46th is dark blue, and 45th is green.

45th Street wayfinding system Grand Central Madison
45th Street

You can see those colors on the illuminated ceiling portals at the mezzanine level, on the tiles of the hallways and sides of the escalators, and on the floor tile street numbers that appear on the concourse level and the mezzanine level of the station. On the platform levels, metal columns at the center of the platforms have an illuminated panel that glows with the assigned color and a sign that indicates which cross-street you are at.

46th STreet Grand Central Madison street sign
46th Street (upside down!)

This color-coded system helps to passively distinguish each section of the station, while other signage points towards tracks, ticketing offices, exits, and other areas.

Next, check out 5 Eye-Catching Art Installations at Grand Central Madison