Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal (yes, THE Grand Central), is a beaux-arts building in the heart of New York City, and, as anyone who has seen it will probably vouch for, it is impressive from the outside. But what I found even more impressive was the inside of the building. During the days when steam locomotives chugged around the United States of America, Grand Central was essentially a rail yard. Hence the name ‘terminal’ (and not, as many people believe, ‘station’). Interesting note: in the olden days, ‘stations’ in America denoted post offices and not, as they are now commonly perceived, railway stations!

The inside of Grand Central is an example of architecture in its true sense. As our extremely well-informed guide informed us, architecture has to do with people and spaces, and the Grand Central Terminal reflects exactly that. It is designed to inspire awe. It is designed to enable people-watching during those long waits for trains, with plenty of comfortable spaces, railings and balconies at different levels. It is designed so that people who run to catch their trains have enough space to dash so that they do not bump into other commuters. In fact, each slab of stone on the floor of the building is exactly the length and width of a human-being – a wonderful example of the involvement of the building with the people it was constructed for, and the stairs are built with the human body in mind as well – each step has been built so that a person can walk down the stairs without even requiring to look down, because it is exactly the height and length of a normal human step.

I spent a very interesting afternoon walking around Grand Central. Truly an afternoon well spent – away from the cold!

2 comments:

Primalsoup said...

Ah, finally! Welcome back! :)

wanderstruck said...

Hellooooo :-) And Thanks!!!!