“Grand by Design” Exhibit Opens at Yonkers Library

On January 11, the New York Transit Museum’s multimedia exhibition “Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal” will open at the Riverfront Library in Yonkers.

The show features rare artifacts and photographs from the museum’s collection highlighting the Terminal’s rich history. The exhibition was first created for a six-week run in Vanderbilt Hall to kick off Grand Central’s 100th birthday.

This adaptation gives visitors the chance to compare Grand Central to the Yonkers Train Station, a beautiful Beaux Arts building designed by the same architectural team. The exhibition is free and will be open to the public during regular library hours from Saturday, January 11, 2014 through Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Yonkers is just a 26-minute ride from Grand Central on Metro-North’s  Hudson Line and the library is a one-block walk from the train station.

The exhibition is organized around several themes that address the Terminal’s far-reaching impact on the region, highlighting fascinating aspects of the building that are little known or rarely seen by the public. The themes include:

•             Railroads Remake New York: The story of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the builder of Grand Central and America’s first tycoon, provides an introduction to Grand Central and its history as a railroad terminal.

•             A Grand Design: Accompanied by drawings from the 1903 design competition for Grand Central, this section shows the building’s many ingenious features, including the ramps that keep pedestrians flowing throughout the Terminal, and the roadway that encircles it, facilitating the flow of vehicular traffic.

•             Elegance and Efficiency: From electrification, which put Grand Central’s massive train yard underground, to generators hefty enough to power the surrounding neighborhood, the exhibit helps visitors understand the behind-the-scenes complexity of railroad operations and the building’s enduring engineering innovations.

•             Going Places: Grand Central’s history of serving long-distance travelers and local commuters. The exhibition explores the types of journeys that began and ended at the Terminal, including the iconic 20th Century Limited train.

•             Making Mid Town into Midtown: Grand Central accelerated the growth of Midtown Manhattan, attracting more development to the neighborhood and transforming it into a central business district. This section will explore Grand Central’s influence on Midtown’s development and how it helped foster the growth of distant suburbs.

•             New York’s Town Square: As a home for broadcast studios, political rallies, art exhibits, and tightrope walkers, the landmark building has been used in countless ways over the years, functioning as one of New York’s most exciting public spaces. The exhibition will cover the many ways the Terminal has been used.

•             A Star is Born: For generations, Grand Central has loomed large in movies, books and popular imagination, evoking themes of travel, separation and the hustle of big city life. The exhibition describes the Terminal’s place in popular culture as a location for film and television.

•             Decline and Renewal: Descriptions of the decline of rail travel and Grand Central during the 1970s and 1980s segues into a section covering the building’s complete and meticulous renovation in the 1990s.

•             The Next 100 Years: A section covering the future of Grand Central focuses on the Long Island Railroad East Side Access project and the changes it will bring for Midtown commuters.


Built in 1911, the Beaux Arts style Yonkers Train Station was designed by Grand Central Terminal architects Warren and Wetmore. It became part of MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line in 1983. Recent improvements in and around the Station have enhanced the potential of the surrounding area as part of the city’s and Metro-North’s “smart growth” goals.

They include the Station’s full renovation in 2004, an adjacent public plaza built around a newly uncovered (or “daylighted”) section of the Saw Mill River in 2012, and several private development projects.

This presentation of the exhibition is sponsored by the City of Yonkers, Metro-North Railroad, Kawasaki and MRI USA Inc.

What:    Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal

When:  January 11, 2014 – March 16, 2014

Where: Yonkers Riverfront Library

                1 Larkin Center

                Yonkers, NY 10701

Hours:   Monday – Thursday        9am – 8pm

                Friday                                  10am – 5pm

                Saturday                              9am – 5pm

                Sunday                                 12pm – 5pm


Closed for Martin Luther King Day (1/20), Lincoln’s Birthday (2/12), and Washington’s Birthday (2/17)

Admission:          FREE