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Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America [Hardcover]

Sam Roberts

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Price: 18.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Jan 2013

In the winter of 1913, Grand Central Station was officially opened and immediately became one of the most beautiful and recognizable Manhattan landmarks. In this celebration of the one hundred year old terminal, Sam Roberts of The New York Times looks back at the terminal's conception, amazing history, and the far-reaching cultural effects of Grand Central that continues to amaze tourists and shuttle busy commuters.

Along the way, Roberts will explore how the Manhattan transit hub truly foreshadowed the evolution of suburban expansion in the country, and fostered the nation's westward expansion and growth via train.

Featuring quirky anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information, this book will allow readers to peek into the secret and unseen areas of Grand Central -- from the tunnels, to the command center, to the hidden passageways.

With stories about everything from the famous movies that have used Grand Central as a location to the forty-eight foot long snake that made the building his home, this is a fascinating and, exciting look at a true American institution.

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Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America + Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark
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Book Description

A rich, illustrated - and entertaining -- history of the iconic Grand Central Terminal, from one of New York City's favorite writers, just in time to celebrate the train station's 100th anniversary.

About the Author

Sam Roberts is an urban affairs correspondent and Metro Matters columnist for The New York Times, and, as such, has become something of the face and voice for the city at large. He is the author of numerous books, including The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case. Sam is frequently heard on NPR

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Geraldine Ahearn - Published on
I was born and raised in New York, where I resided 45 years of my life. For most of those years, there are certain illuminating memories one can never forget. 'Grand Central Station' is one of them. I recall for several years as my dad commuted from Long Island to NYC five days a week to work in Con Edison for 33 years, and all the trips I made for many different reasons to use it for transportation. He always spoke about Grand Central Station as being a part of his life as a commuter, running from train-to-train with hundreds of busy people who were able to work good jobs, because the transportation was available. With over 10 million people who live in NYC, combined with tourists, Grand Central has become a valuable landmark in history. I knew conductors and several commuters, who were personal friends, and I remember that Grand Central was a popular topic for conversation. Sam Roberts of the New York Times and Pete Hamil highlight the history of the famous Grand Central Terminal, celebrating its 100th anniversary. The authors take the reader on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour as they guide you through tunnels, passageways, the command center, and much more. Tourists and commuters have their own stories, but the most interesting are stories from commuters who traveled on it half their lives. The legend of its opening to modern day, and the influence upon suburban expansion and growth in the nation is incredible. Its history with stories and cultural effects is amazing, and certainly an unforgettable landmark in our memories. Millions of people share their own personal stories about this elite, historical railroad, including the homeless. Interesting, educational, and enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Significant American Monument. 1 Mar 2013
By Harvard08 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful review of the life of a place where I once actualy worked (for a summer) in an era different from now. We had passenger trains other than on commuter lines, and the aspects of glamor associated with them.

It's hard to believe that Amtrak exists, and that it does not use GCT, but the terminal itself is much smarter and more interesting than it was, even in the days of the 20th Century Limited, and Roberts careful description makes this work a real page-turner. I thank him for his effort.Excellent photographs are generously displayed.

I wish the book were larger, though.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filled with Historical Information -- If You Love GCT, You Will Enjoy This Book 18 Feb 2013
By Joe in Stamford - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well researched, insightfully written paean to an iconic building -- one that in many ways transformed the city of New York as much as the experience of arrival and departure by rail. The writing is superb. My only criticism is that I would have liked the book to be more lavishly illustrated with better photographs of the contemporary state of the building. There are, however, many good historical pictures and you will certainly get a sense of the terminal through post-restoration photos, even if you have not been there in person. Highly recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely photographs, too much celebrity name dropping. 19 July 2013
By M. Heiss - Published on
I don't live in New York City.

I'm a huge fan of Cornelius Vanderbilt's, and America owes him an enormous debt of gratitude. I was interested in this book, and there were some great Vanderbilt quotes in the beginning of the book.

But once we got into all the celebrities turning out to "save" Grand Central... yawn. Telling me what socialites and dinner party savants think about Grand Central Station is meaningless.

The information on Terminal employees and commuters was interesting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not earth shaking. 27 Aug 2013
By JD - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wasn't very well written, but interesting to learn how revolutionary the architect was. Engineering marvel - literally built the neighborhood.
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