The Grand Centrals That Could Have Been


Between 1903 and 1913, New York’s Grand Central Station was torn down and replaced in phases by a Grand Central Terminal — still called “Grand Central Station” by most New Yorkers. Out of the many firms that vied to design the new railway station, two were selected: Reed and Stem of St. Paul, Minnesota, who were responsible for the overall design, and Warren and Wetmore of New York, who were responsible for the building’s Beaux-Arts style.

Other firms had different ideas.

McKim, Mead and White, who would later build the old Penn Station as well as the campus of Columbia University in Manhattan, proposed a sixty-story skyscraper, which would have been the tallest tower in the world at the time.

Samuel Huckle Jr. of Pennsylvania called for a baroque turreted building.

Reed and Stem, who would go on to design many more train stations across the United States, originally placed a wide courtyard in front of Grand Central that was never built.

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