• 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 whose mother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is widely credited with saving the Terminal from destruction in the 1970s;
• 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;
• Baseball MVP and New York Mets World Series Champion first baseman Keith Hernandez;
• The Celia Cruz Bronx High School Choir; and
• Several special presentations, including a surprise “sweet” delivery to cap off the event.
Elected officials are scheduled to appear, along with Metro-North President Howard Permut, Acting MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer, Interim MTA Executive Director Tom Prendergast and Grand Central Centennial Committee Chairman Peter Stangl.
At noon, Metro-North Railroad representatives will receive formal recognition for the terminal from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Guinness Book of World Records, the National Historic Railway Society, and the United States Postal Service, which will unveil its new Grand Central Terminal Centennial stamp. Stamps with special cancellation will be available for retail purchase at the Lower Level Information Booth from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Electronic violin soloist Sarah Charness provides the musical opening and closing for this program.
Major Exhibition "Grand by Design" Opens
February 1 also marks the opening of “Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal,” a major new exhibition produced by the New York Transit Museum that showcases, in dramatic multimedia fashion, the history and impact of Grand Central in its first century (the exhibit will be open Feb. 1 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Filling Vanderbilt Hall with projections and larger-than-life photography, free-standing installations, authentic artifacts and digital docents — as well as new and historical audio and video — “Grand by Design” reveals how the iconic building shaped modern New York and still determines its future. The exhibit runs through March 15, 2013.
A companion book, "Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark," by New York Transit Museum staff and author Anthony W. Robins, will be published February 1. It traces the Terminal's history and design, showcasing public and hidden wonders from the well-trod Main Concourse to the massive power station hidden ten stories below ground. More than 200 photographs — some archival, some by retired Metro-North Railroad photographer Frank English — capture nearly every corner and major moment of the world’s most famous railroad terminal. With an introduction by author and historian Tony Hiss, the book will be available at the “Grand by Design” exhibit store, the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store in the terminal, and at numerous retailers.
Performances continue in Grand Central Terminal’s Main Concourse throughout the day and into the evening (with a short rush hour break from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Among the performers and activities:
• Dancing Classrooms, whose 100+ youth performers were featured in the award-winning documentary film “Mad Hot Ballroom”;
• Acclaimed contemporary dance company Keigwin + Company;
• Performances by the Knicks City Dancers and Knicks City Kids dance teams;
• Legoland Discovery Center Westchester unveils its Miniland exhibit’s replica of Grand Central Terminal, made completely of Lego bricks;
• The Westchester Philharmonic Brass Octet;
• Cast members of the upcoming musical “Orphan Train”;
• Staten Island’s Susan Wagner High School Jazz Band;
• Electronic violinist and Trans-Siberian Orchestra soloist Sarah Charness;
• New York City’s Rhythm Collective, which will play music in a variety of styles to keep terminal visitors dancing; and
• A closing performance by Grammy Award-winning big band Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Terminal Retailers Participate