Millions of people have marveled at the beauty of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. But how many know the remarkable story of how it was built?
To get started, the New York Central Railroad had to bore deep into Manhattan bedrock to excavate two levels of tunnels, eventually removing some three million cubic yards of material. To pay for the construction, the railroad charged developers for “air rights”: the right to construct buildings over the former open rail yard, which had been paved over. Many of the city’s best-known buildings eventually rose over the site, including the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Construction of the new Grand Central lasted ten years, from 1903 to 1913. During that time, amazingly, trains continued to come and go without interruption!