Grand Central Terminal Celebrates 100th Anniversary

By Heather Holland on February 1, 2013 2:35pm 

MIDTOWN EAST — Hundreds of revelers gathered in Grand Central Terminal's main concourse Friday morning to celebrate the station’s 100th birthday.

The centennial bash kicked off with a series of performers and speakers, including "Sex and the City"’s Cynthia Nixon and author and preservationist Caroline Kennedy.

"Grand Central is everything that New York is,” Nixon said during the opening ceremony. “It’s loud, it’s functional, it’s dysfunctional, it’s crowded…and it is beautiful.”

Between speakers, Grammy-winning singer Melissa Manchester performed, and former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins read his poetry, which was commissioned by the MTA for the occasion.

While each speaker shared memories and praises of Grand Central, at the southeast end of the terminal, near the station master’s office, a crowd was gathering around a mini Lego replica of the iconic building.

Throughout the station, businesses set up booths and distributed giveaways, including free luggage tags and vintage train whistles.

The New York Transit Museum also opened its multimedia exhibit in the Vanderbilt Hall for the first time on Friday. The exhibit, called "Grand By Design," showcases the terminal’s creation and changes through the years. It will be on display until Mar. 15.

Entertainment will continue in the terminal throughout the day Friday until 9:30 p.m., including a final performance by Rhythm Collective and Grammy-winner Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.

“Grand Central Station is the closest thing New York City has to a town square,” said Thomas Prendergast, interim CEO of the MTA. “It’s a place people can gather.”

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