Skip to main content
Building Conservation Associates

Grand Central Terminal

Location: New York, New York
Year Built: 1913
Original Architect: Warren & Wetmore

Grand Central Terminal, designed by Reed & Stem and Warren & Wetmore and completed in 1913, is one of New York City’s preeminent architectural landmarks. The terminal stands as a Beaux-Arts monument to America’s Railway Age and was constructed as the crown jewel of the Vanderbilt Empire’s New York Central Railroad. Designated as a New York City Landmark in 1967 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and an Interior Landmark in 1980, Grand Central Terminal is also a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

BCA has been involved with many aspects of the preservation of Grand Central Terminal. For the interior and exterior landmarked areas of Grand Central Terminal, BCA provided inspection services to fulfill Metro North Railroad’s “Continuing Maintenance Agreement” with the LPC. The inspection identified needed repairs and produced a report that serves as a baseline for future cyclical inspections. As part of the landmark inspection project, BCA developed a custom program to track maintenance needs in a database format. The software, which is in use at other historic buildings, has proved to be a universally applicable and highly useful tool for planning and budgeting future work.

BCA’s findings during the landmark inspection led to the subsequent restoration of Vanderbilt Hall, an important interior space within the terminal. BCA served as the restoration consultant and conducted a hands-on conditions assessment, prepared treatment recommendations and construction documents and provided construction administration services.

The Oyster Bar Restaurant, which originally opened as the Grand Central Terminal Restaurant in 1913, is defined by its cavernous, low-slung tiled vaults designed by the R. Guastavino Company. BCA conducted a hands-on conditions assessment of the historic Guastavino tile ceiling, performed mock-ups, prepared treatment recommendations, and designed appropriate treatments to stabilize the ceiling. BCA created construction documents and provided construction administration services for the ceiling restoration.

BCA was the restoration consultant for the exterior of Grand Central Terminal. BCA performed a hands-on conditions assessment of the building’s façades and exterior sculpture, conducted investigative probes, field and laboratory materials testing, finishes analysis. BCA prepared construction drawings and specifications for the entire restoration scope, which included more than 3,000 repairs, and provided construction administration services during the restoration work.