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 Post subject: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:57 pm
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In 1975 Grand Central Terminal was almost demolished, but Jackie Kennedy partnered with Kent Barwick in a campaign to save the famous building. If it had been destroyed, what would have been the fate of all the many trains and other modes of transit served by Grand Central?


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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Probably the exact fate suffered by the trains and transit that served GCT's famous neighbor to the southwest: Nothing.

Of course, once the passengers emerged from the train gates, they would have been in the same type of nasty, utilitarian station that Pennsylvania Station had been turned into.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:44 pm 

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Pretty much the same story at La Salle Street Chicago and Northwest Terminal.

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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:26 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Since I was there -- albeit at times somewhat amusingly -- I can state fairly categorically that not only would the Warren and Wetmore/Reed & Stem walkways and architecture have remained, the main concourse (with the stars in the ceiling) would have remained.

This was long after the days of the hyperboloid (which if it had been built would have been one of the most iconic New York buildings ... just not Grand Central) and, more significantly, after the project to put the tower where the original plans called for it, over the concourse. This was the Marcel Breuer bulding located over the waiting-room space (and Grand Central Lanes) that would have left some of the facade at the west end intact but ruined the massing and proportion in precisely the ways that the Pan Am building did not.

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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 211
Location: New York
RichardWilliam wrote:
In 1975 Grand Central Terminal was almost demolished, but Jackie Kennedy partnered with Kent Barwick in a campaign to save the famous building. If it had been destroyed, what would have been the fate of all the many trains and other modes of transit served by Grand Central?


What makes you think there would have been any changes to the subway or commuter railroad services? Other active terminals have been demolished, but service continued unchanged. I'm thinking of Reading Terminal, Chicago Union Station, LaSalle Street Station, NorthWestern Station (Ogilvie), 4th & Townsend, Penn Station... The proposal to demolish GCT and replace it with a modern office tower would not have changed the track configurations below...

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:19 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Reading Terminal has not been demolished; both the headhouse and trainshed have become part of the PA Convention Center. Reading Terminal Market is still open under the trainshed.

Commuter service has changed - for the better. The RDG and PRR lines are connected and riders can go to points on either side using through trains on the 4-track underground connection.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 271
"In 1975 Grand Central Terminal was almost demolished"

Well, that is a bit of a stretch. There were several different proposals to build on top of GCT. The Helix was one, the Pan Am building came to be. But as far as I can remember there was never any credible proposal to "raze" GCT and remove all the platforms, tracks, connections to the outside world.

GCT is more than the "above ground" buildings (magnificent as they are) it is an amazing functional engineering design that crammed two complete railroad stations into the expensive real estate where only one existed before. And with the "modern" electric railroad locomotive it was possible to clean up the air above the railroad station and let lots of other real estate develop.

I was lucky to be traveling back and forth through GCT while the "landmark" court case was deciding it's future (RR wanted to "demolish" it, City of New York wanted to keep it "as is" while also collecting taxes on it). There was a time when the public was offered "backstage tours" to enhance public support to keep it as is. These tours were very impressive, got to see the bowling alley, the broadcast studio (early TV broadcasts where done "upstairs" in GCT) and got to walk through the west end windows. The huge east and west end window arches are actually two parallel windows with several walkways in between the windows. There are a few photographs showing the silhouettes of office workers moving from the north to the south side of the building.

A very impressive building, much better than Penn Station, that place has so few tracks they can barely keep up with the trains during rush hour....

Since long distance passenger train demand has waned GCT has been converted to TWO high capacity commuter train stations with a four track entrance/exit. This entrance does not have to go "underwater" like the two very old tunnels into Penn station from the south.

I have not heard of any plans to expand the track capacity into/exiting GCT, it was designed properly in the first place to support passenger railroad traffic for a century or more, well done NYCRR....

(NYCRR barb for the PRR folks, all in jest)

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the City of New York that wanted to decide what happened to GCT while also taxing the living daylights out of the proper owners (NYC, PC) won the court case, but in a Pyrrhic victory the RR went bankrupt before the court case was decided (they told you so) and had no money to maintain "their" RR station and it went into decline anyway. Until the City of NY had to fund an expensive restoration...

Cheers, Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Grand Central Terminal almost gone in 1975
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:28 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 112
NYCRRson wrote:
I have not heard of any plans to expand the track capacity into/exiting GCT, it was designed properly in the first place to support passenger railroad traffic for a century or more, well done NYCRR....

Cheers, Kevin


Well, there is the East Side access project, which will have a new 8 track LIRR terminal located 180 feet below street level. Obviously, there will be no interconnection of rail lines (sorry, no Port Jefferson to North White Plains train), but there will be some mixing of new passengers into the GCT mix, especially to access the subway.


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