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Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal has become more that just a transportation hub. Of course, a visitor to the city may not want to make this their sole destination you might want to pop by to say you did and just take in the majesty of the architecture.

Design competitions for major projects were commonplace in the early 1900s, and the railroad launched one in 1903. Four firms entered: McKim Mead & White; Samuel Huckel, Jr.; Reed & Stem; and Daniel Burnham.

Reed & Stem won. Its innovative scheme featured pedestrian ramps inside, and a ramp-like roadway outside that wrapped around the building to connect the northern and southern halves of Park Avenue.

But were these innovations enough to make Grand Central truly grand? The railroad wasn’t sure. So it hired another architect, Warren & Wetmore, which proposed a monumental façade of three triumphal arches.

The two chosen firms collaborated as “Associated Architects.” It was a stormy partnership, but the final design, combined the best ideas of both.

Commonly used in American slang to describe heavy foot traffic, Grand Central terminal can get very crowded.