Press

Grand Central Terminal to Celebrate 20 Years of Retail with 1998 Pricing at Select Shops and More

September 17, 2018

Anniversary Event Celebrates a Major Renovation That Solidified Grand Central’s Longevity

On October 1, 1998, a rededication ceremony officially invited the public to enjoy Grand Central in a way they never could before: as a shopping, dining, and travel destination all under one iconic roof. On that day in history, after several years and a $200 million renovation, Grand Central was reborn as the beloved landmark it is known as today. To commemorate this major milestone, Grand Central is looking back 20 years with shops and restaurants offering 1998 pricing on a number of products and menu items all day on October 1 and giving away special Grand Central-themed Rubik’s Cubes.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority undertook the multi-phase restoration and retained Beyer Blinder Belle as its architectural consultant to assist in returning the neglected building to its original grandeur. Significant renovations included the cleaning of the vaulted constellation ceiling and the building’s marble, a new Main Concourse East stairwell that appeared in the original design but had never been built, heating and air conditioning capabilities, and the development of quality restaurants, food vendors, and shops.

October 1 will include a number of one-day throwback-themed giveaways and opportunities for the public, including:

  • Grand Central-themed Rubik’s Cubes, a game that exploded in popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s, will be distributed around the Terminal
  • Participating restaurants and shops, such as The Campbell, Grand Central Oyster Bar, Doughnut Plant, Café Grumpy, and Li-Lac Chocolates, are selling items priced the way they would have been in 1998, representing approximately a 35% discount
    Photo installation “Details & Light: Historical Photographs of Grand Central Terminal” on display at Café Grumpy through October 15.

“Twenty years ago, the MTA completed its historic restoration of Grand Central Terminal, returning it to its original grandeur and reaffirming its importance as a world class transportation hub and iconic landmark,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “The transformation not only made commuting a safer and more enjoyable experience for our customers, it signaled a vote of confidence that we would reinvest in our infrastructure, as a fundamental bedrock of our region’s economy. The restoration has had tremendous lasting benefits. With its premier shops, restaurants, and events, Grand Central Terminal today is more than a first-class transportation hub, it is an iconic destination that attracts visitors from around the globe. Metro-North Railroad is proud to be the steward for this historic landmark.”

In addition, half of Vanderbilt Hall will be taken over by an exhibit in partnership with the New York Transit Museum, the Municipal Art Society of New York, and the Museum of the City of New York that pays tribute to Grand Central Terminal’s 105-year history by featuring its most significant three milestones. The exhibition is organized in a three-part narrative, from its early 1900s inception and construction to the 1970s advocacy campaign to save the Terminal to the 1990s revitalization of the Terminal and its emergence as one of the great examples of successful “placemaking” in New York City. The exhibit tells the story through a series of visualizations of the evolving space. The exhibit opens September 24 and runs through October 5.

“We can’t think of a better way than this exhibition to celebrate one of New York’s most iconic buildings,” said Concetta Bencivenga, director of the Transit Museum. “The New York Transit Museum is delighted to partner with the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Museum of the City of New York to present an exhibit honoring Grand Central’s history and importance by exploring how the Terminal has changed the landscape of both transportation and our city.”

This October 1 caps off a summer of celebration for the Terminal. In June, Grand Central marked the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that saved the Terminal from destruction. In between the June and October milestones, Grand Central has been marking these moments with a series of events, including a 40th anniversary photo installation and the Dining Concourse in Concert music series in July and August featuring musical acts that performed the sounds of the 1990s.

For more information on Grand Central Terminal, a timeline of history, then-and-now photos, and up-to-date information for upcoming events, please visit GCTcelebrates.com. For interviews and images on Grand Central’s history and legacy, as well as its shops and restaurants, please see contact information below.

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About Grand Central Terminal:
MTA Metro-North Railroad is the steward of Grand Central Terminal, which stands as one of America’s greatest transportation hubs and one of New York City’s most iconic buildings. It is both a national landmark and an international example of the success that can be achieved giving new life to a historic building that otherwise may have been destroyed. The Grand Central brand reflects the remarkable caliber of services in the Terminal, including boutique restaurants and cocktail lounges, a gourmet market, and many specialty shops. It draws more than 750,000 national and international visitors each day and wows them with its varied offerings and tour programs. Storied Vanderbilt Hall, once the waiting room for long-distance travelers, is among the most-desired public event spaces in the city.

About the New York Transit Museum:
The New York Transit Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York metropolitan region through the presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs and workshops dealing with the cultural, social and technological history of public transportation. Since its inception over forty years ago, the Museum – which is housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Downtown Brooklyn – has grown in scope and popularity. For nearly 25 years, the New York Transit Museum has operated a Gallery Annex & Store in Grand Central Terminal. As custodian and interpreter of the region’s extensive public transportation networks, the Museum strives to share through its exhibits and public programs this rich and vibrant history with local, regional, and international audiences. To learn more, visit nytransitmuseum.org.

Media Contacts

Goodman Media International for Grand Central Terminal
212-576-2700, gct@goodmanmedia.com

Nancy Gamerman, Media Liaison for MTA Metro-North Railroad
212-878-4767, ngamerman@mtahq.org

Chelsea Newburg, Press & Marketing Strategist
The New York Transit Museum
718-694-4915, chelsea.newburg@nyct.com

Meaghan Baron, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs
The Municipal Art Society of New York
212-935-3960, mbaron@mas.org

Sheryl Victor Levy
Vice President, Marketing and Communications for the Museum of the City of New York
917-492-3482, svlevy@mcny.org

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