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PC: Yuppie Central Terminal - the Grand is gone

Greetings to all,

I have been listening in recently on the talk about the forever great and
glourious Buffalo Central Terminal, as well as the talk of Grand Central
Terminal.  I just want to start off by saying that I think Buffalo Central
Terminal deserves this long awaited restoration.  I have been following it for
some time now, and I'm glad to hear all the good things about it.  It is a
true masterpeice.

In my mind Grand Central Terminal is no longer the place it once was.  People
try to pretend that it's a great place again because of the restoration, and
that once again it is as important to New York City as it was in its true
glory days.  Well it ain't.  

When Grand Central Terminal and New York's Pennsylvania Station were both
built, those two railroad facilities were what LaGuardia, Newark, and John F.
Kennedy (formerly Idlewild Airport) Airports' are today.  When you wanted to
leave New York to go somewhere, you got on a TRAIN, and at either of those two
railroad terminals.

The restoration of GCT is more like an excuse to make it into a "yuppie"
hangout.  Fancy and expensive shops, and all that garbage now fill the
terminal.  Even a cup of coffee is more expensive than it used to be.  So they
fixed the place up a bit - big deal.  All it is, is a big commuter barn.  The
glory days are over.   

The young yuppie people now find the place cute, and elegant.  They marvel at
the over-rated and played out ceiling.  Even worse, these yuppies have no idea
of the existence of the two great railroads that served Grand Central Terminal
at one time.

Does anyone honestly think these young Manhattan yuppies (all in their 20's
with their brand new BMW's, and Mercedes cars that find the restored GCT such
a great place) have any clue that at one time a magnificent railroad known as
the New York Central System, and the great ovals, dominated that same terminal
along with the great New Haven railroad?  Do you think any of the them have
any clue as to who Robert R. Young, or Al Perlman were?  Certainly not.

Nothing about the terminal says New York Central System or New Haven Railroad
anymore.  Furthermore, without those two names, Grand Central Terminal isn't
what it was.  The pre-restoration Grand Central Terminal had the grime on the
walls from the NYC and NH days.  It was as if without those two names, or at
least without the NYC name, Grand Central Terminal couldn't be a shiny, and
well kept place.  It just doesn't fit; a restored GCT without the New York

Grand Central Terminal had New York Central System written all over it.  I
actually think that the great days of GCT ended when the Pan Am Building was
built.  How one could allow such and ugly structure to be built in front of a
magnificent office building (the New York Central Building), and behind such a
well known railroad terminal, is a disgrace.   PC should have knocked GCT
down.  I personally think GCT is too small of a structure proportionately to
its location.  Towering over it are modern office buildings, and the Met Life
(formerly Pan Am) Building.   I think the NYC should have constructed
something like Buffalo Central Terminal, or like their now-abandoned station
in Detroit.  Stations and terminals like that are powerful, and make a
statement.  They show people how great the railroads are (were).

If the original Penn Station stood today, it would still be a great place.  It
would still be great because of its size, and because of the fact that long
distance trains still use it.

These are all my comments and feelings about GCT.  I know there are others out
there who feel differently about GCT, but stop one day and think.  Think about
how nothing says New York Central about GCT anymore.  Think how through the
"efforts" of the MTA, the New York Central name has been paved over and
forgotten.  Sure they restored GCT, but think for a second.  Think about how
they are letting the classic station at Dover Plains rot away.  Think about
how have demolished the ex-NYC tower at North White Plains, NY.  Think about
how they have let the rock cut's through the Bronx on the Hudson Division
become filthy and grim.  Think about how they removed the classic target
signals along the ex-NYC tracks they operate on.  

Think about how they allowed the great former New York Central's magnificent
station at White Plains, NY get demolished in 1983.  This was a station that
was somewhere between Grand Central Terminal and the ex-NYC Poughkeepsie
station - not as big as GCT, but larger than Poughkeepsie station, and similar
in design.  Think about how they still brag till this day about the new
"station", which is more like a newspaper stand.  The old White Plains station
had in it the largest waiting room in Westchester County, and thanks to the
same railroad that has "restored" GCT, the modern station in the City of White
Plains has a waiting room the size of a walk through closet.

When you add all these things up, as well as numerous other things they have
done, the refurbishment of Grand Central Terminal can't make up for it at all.

John W.

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