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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Grand Central Station: 1913

Grand Central Station: 1913

New York's Grand Central Station nearing completion sometime around 1913. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

GCT

The facility is the end of the rail line; hence the name Grand Central Terminal. Pennsylvania Station is named as such since it provides for through rail traffic.

Third and Fourth Rails

Two different streetcar companies shared the track on 42nd Street between Madison and Park Avenues (where this photo was taken), they each had their own conduit rail to power only their own cars.

Source: "Manhattan's Lost Streetcars"; Images of Rail (2005); page 31

Third (and fourth) rails

There appear to be two buried "third rails" on the streetcar track (contacted by a plow), and on one of the two tracks, the third rails cross and trade places. Maybe some New York trolley fan could explain this strange arrangement.

Grand Central Station

Actually there is also a Grand Central Station that has nothing to do with the Post Office - it's a former IRT transfer point that also serves the Terminal building.

I suspect that while the use of the term Grand Central Station was common in New York for a long time, it really became common usage because of the radio program of the 1930s or '40s by that name.

Grand Central TERMINAL

Grand Central Station is a POST OFFICE! This is Grand Central TERMINAL! It sez so on the building itself right below the clock, IIRC.

[cc: G.G.B. - Dave]

Grand Central

Here's how that entrance looks today.

Shorpy is a wonderful site--I read it every day. Keep up the great work!

City Growth

Jeeze, it is incredible to see it as it was!
So many new buildings now clutter and overshadow that scene.
I wish we could get a current pic at that same angle, and compare our "progress".

The corner entrance

I walked through that exact entrance countless times when I was in my 20s (in the 80s). It's wild to see it as it was in 1913 and to contemplate the untold millions who preceded me and those who have come after me.

Strange perspective

The building looks like it will tumble to the right and at the same time to the front. Very strange!

Grand central

the sky is so clear...

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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