NEW YORK CITY – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York and Metro-North Railroad announced initial plans for Grand Central Terminal’s 100th anniversary celebration beginning in February 2013.
Among the details released:
- Events Begin February 1, 2013 -- Plans are being developed now for a rededication birthday celebration on February 1, 2013 accompanied by the opening of a historic exhibition and kicking off a year’s worth of programs and events. The Terminal opened to the public at midnight on February 1, 1913, and its first train left at 12:20 AM. Centennial planners will commemorate the opening with a day-long celebration expected to include music and other public performances, and a dramatic multimedia exhibition developed by the New York Transit Museum that puts the Terminal into historical context, and emphasizes its indelible impact on New York City.
- Centennial Logo Revealed: Inspired by Terminal Icon -- Designed by the award-winning firm Pentagram, Grand Central’s new logo takes as its inspiration one of the landmark building’s most well-known icons – the clock atop the main hall information booth. A stylized version of the century-old clock, with hands positioned at 7:13 (19:13 in military time used by the railroad, and a nod to the opening year) is centered over the words “Grand Central.” Beneath that is the simple phrase “100 Years,” which will be dropped when the Centennial year ends. The new logo serves as a starting point for retail and other signage within the building, and will appear on a newly designed website and have many other uses. The new logo debuts publicly on Terminal screens today; commuters and visitors will begin seeing it throughout the Terminal later this year.
- Committee Members Reflect New York City – A Centennial Committee will comprise prominent New Yorkers from a wide range of fields who will come together to celebrate the Terminal’s Centennial. Committee chairs include MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota, former MTA Chairman Peter Stangl, and Caroline Kennedy, whose mother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was instrumental in saving Grand Central in the 1970s. Other committee members announced today include leaders in business, real estate, entertainment and non-profit sectors including celebrated filmmaker Spike Lee and opera legend Jessye Norman. (A list of current Centennial Committee members is attached; the committee is in formation and is expected to grow throughout 2012.)
Centennial planners say the February 1, 2013 rededication is one of several headline events organized around four themes throughout the year. They include:
- Preserving a Landmark, Creating a Legacy – A major renovation of the Terminal’s 42nd Street entrance in Spring 2013, creating a grander entry to Vanderbilt Hall and the main concourse;
- Parade of Historic Trains/Transportation Month – May 2013 at Grand Central will be anchored by a rare public display of historic train cars in the Terminal, and activities centered on the history of railroading; and
- Grand Central: The Next 100 Years – Exhibits and other public events in the fall of 2013 will explore how this monument to American transportation continues to inspire innovations and improvements in travel.
The headline events will be supplemented by a stream of sponsored programs and activities throughout the year including:
- Family-friendly activities in and around the Terminal during Summer 2013, including institutions across the city paying tribute to the transportation hub;
- Retailers within Grand Central Terminal offering special sales and promotions;
- The New York Transit Museum and Arts for Transit collaborate on a media exhibition inspired by the Grand Central. (The Transit Museum will curate five exhibitions throughout 2013 and will release a beautifully illustrated coffee-table-style Centennial book);
- A completely remodeled Centennial Edition of the Transit Museum’s annual Holiday Train Show; and
- Release of historically themed Metrocards throughout the year.
“Happy Birthday, Grand Central! That’s what 2013 is all about – a memorable year that brings together everyone with a stake in Grand Central Terminal and the future of New York City,” says Centennial Committee Chair Peter Stangl. “We will ensure that everyone is welcomed to celebrate this milestone, whether they’re commuting through here each day, visiting the Terminal for its destination dining and shopping, or coming from far corners of the globe to take part in this series of spectacular events.”
“Grand Central Terminal is truly one of the city’s great public spaces,” said MTA Chairman & CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “I have always thought that Grand Central is the heart of New York City, and this Centennial celebration will show all of New York just how grand the Terminal really is.”
“Grand Central functions first and foremost as a transportation hub and, in doing so spectacularly for nearly a century, it has become a beloved symbol of New York City itself, with all its contradictions – constant motion and quiet contemplation, strangers rushing by, and reunions at the clock,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “New Yorkers love the Terminal because a walk across the Concourse still makes one’s heart race and inspires awe with its beauty. But it should not go unmentioned that Grand Central is the heart of Metro-North Railroad, the nation’s largest commuter rail system. We are proud to be the steward of this great gateway.”
A comprehensive website for the Centennial will debut in June 2012 with more detail on plans for 2013. Together with the website, the Terminal’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare will promote and engage consumers wishing to partake in the celebration. An international marketing and promotions campaign for the Centennial will kick into high gear this summer. Premier Partnerships has been retained to secure Centennial sponsors and other event partners; additional announcements are due later this year.
Grand Central Terminal stands as one of America’s greatest transportation hubs and one of New York City’s most iconic buildings. It is both a national institution and an international example of the success that can be achieved giving new life to a historic building that otherwise may have been destroyed. Over a colorful and tumultuous 100-year history, Grand Central has gone from being the start and end point for long-distance rail travel, to becoming the iconic home of Metro-North Railroad and a destination for commuters, tourists and residents. More details at www.grandcentralterminal.com.
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