Grand Central Terminal Centennial Celebration Kicks Off February 1
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 students. Throughout the day-which is hosted by Metro-North, the New York Transit Museum and other partners-members of the public can enjoy live performances, national award presentations, sponsor giveaways, special retail deals, 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.)
Well-known names and faces will wish the Terminal a happy birthday that morning. The day kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a concert by the West Point Brass & Percussion (including "Grand Central Centennial Fanfare," a new piece written for the occasion). Speakers, performers and activities at the 10 a.m. public ceremony include New York City resident Cynthia Nixon; former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins,who will read an original poem commissionedby MTA Arts for Transit; author and preservationist Caroline Kennedy 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; members of the Vanderbilt family whose ancestor "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt inspired the construction of Grand Central; baseball MVP Keith Hernandez; the Celia Cruz Bronx High School Choir; and several special presentations, including a surprise "sweet" delivery that caps off the event.
"GRAND BY DESIGN" EXHIBIT 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. "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.
Activities continue in Grand Central Terminal's Main Concourse throughout the day with appearances by: youth performers from NYC-based Dancing Classrooms who were featured in the award-winning documentary "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's Grand Central Terminal replica made from than 5,000 LEGO bricks; electronic violinist and Trans-Siberian Orchestra soloist Sarah Charness; and a closing performance by Grammy Award-winning band Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks ("Boardwalk Empire").
Retailers throughout Grand Central Terminal will participate in Centennial celebrations February 1, offering free giveaways and special deals to shoppers throughout the day, as well as select items sold at 1913 prices (i.e. five-cent cups of coffee).
ACTIVITIES THROUGH 2013
The Grand Central Terminal Centennial celebration continues throughout 2013, with a wide variety of events and activities that underscore the Terminal's impact on New York, as well as the history and enduring appeal of rail travel. Full details are available at www.grandcentralterminal.com, and on Facebook (facebook.com/GrandCentralTerminal) and Twitter (@GrandCentralNYC and #GCT100).