Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA) and Metro-North Railroad open Grand Central Terminal to the public on February 1, 2013 for the celebration of its 100th Anniversary with a full day of activities, including a morning public rededication ceremony and musical performances that will keep visitors entertained well into the evening.
The morning ceremony will feature elected officials, high-profile celebrities and VIPs, and performances by award-winning musicians and New York student performers. Throughout the day, which is hosted by Metro-North and partners including the New York Transit Museum, members of the public can enjoy live performances, national award presentations to the Terminal, giveaways from sponsors, special deals from terminal retailers, and the opening of “Grand by Design,” a spectacular six-week exhibit that chronicles the history and impact of New York’s greatest building and one of the world’s most famous train terminals. The February 1 events are presented with support from Target.
These events fall 100 years to the day that the first set of keys was handed to the terminal’s station master on February 1, 1913. (The first train left the terminal just after midnight on February 2.) To commemorate both the past, present and future of Grand Central, events on February 1 and throughout the year are guided by four themes: Happy Birthday to Grand Central, marking its historic first century; Preserving a Landmark; Creating a Legacy, focused on renovation of the Terminal’s 42nd Street entrance and other physical improvements; Grand Centennial Parade of Trains, anchored by a rare public display of historic train cars with public activities centered on the history of railroading; and Grand Central: The Next 100 Years, featuring a variety of exhibits and public events throughout 2013 that will explore how this monument to American transportation continues to inspire innovations and improvements in travel.
Commuters and visitors to Grand Central on opening day will experience the terminal 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 including a 20-foot-high number “100” installed in the east side windows, Terminal employees donning new uniform patches to honor the occasion, and music from the MTA’s “Music Under New York” program wafting through the hallways starting at 8 a.m. Event staff and information booths will be located throughout the Terminal to help visitors navigate the day’s activities.
More than a dozen well-known names and faces will wish the Terminal a happy birthday from a stage erected in the main concourse. The day kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a concert by the West Point Brass & Percussion (which culminates in “Grand Central Centennial Fanfare,” a new piece written for the occasion), and presentation of colors by West Point’s Cadet Color Guard, followed by a 75-minute opening ceremony (hosted by WABC-TV’s Sade Baderinwa) at 10 a.m. Among the speakers, performers and activities at the ceremony: