Grand Central Terminal celebrates its 100th Birthday on Friday, February 1st, with a FREE all day party that includes the West Point Color Guard and celebrities including New York Mets World Championship First Baseman Keith Hernandeez.
One of the speakers is Caroline Kennedy, whose mother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis spearheaded the movement to save Grand Central Terminal from being torn down in the 1970s and replaced by a cookie cutter skyscraper, which grew grew into the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and has helped save hundreds of important NYC architectural and historic buildings in the decades since. Back to the GCT party.
The Terminal is being decked out with red carpets at several entrances that harken back to the days of luxury long-distance rail travel. Spectacular decorations in the Main Concourse include a 20-foot-high number “100” installed in the east side windows, and music from the MTA’s “Music Under New York” program will be played in the hallways starting at 8AM, until the ceremonies begin at 9:30 with a concert by the West Point Brass & Percussion and presentation of colors by West Point’s Cadet Color Guard. Next come the speakers and entertainers:
- award-winning actress and New York City resident Cynthia Nixon
- former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, who will read an original poem commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit for the occasion
- author and preservationist Caroline Kennedy, Honorary Co-Chair of the Grand Central Centennial Committee
- Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester, who will perform solo and with a choir;
- members of the Vanderbilt family whose ancestor “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt was the visionary behind railroading’s “gilded age” and inspired the construction of Grand Central (family members include CNN’s Anderson Cooper, whose mother is fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt)
- baseball MVP and New York Mets World Series Champion first baseman Keith Hernandez;
- the Celia Cruz Bronx High School Choir
That’s just the opening ceremony. There are also performances and celebrity appearances in the afternoon. More about that in a separate posting.
Full details on Grand Central Terminal Centennial activities in 2013, including dates, times, ticket prices and reservations (if required) are at Grand Central Terminal’s website, Facebook page and Twitter @GrandCentralNYC and #GCT100