2013 $19.95 Grand Central Terminal
Issue Date: February 1, 2013
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 10 ¾ X 10 ½
The Grand Central Terminal stamp was issued to pay the Express Mail rate. The stamp honors the 100th anniversary of the famous train station.
Cornelius Vanderbilt amassed great wealth from the railroads. In 1867, he acquired the New York Central, which served much of the Northeast. When the railroad outgrew its New York City station, Grand Central Terminal was built, opening on February 2, 1913. More than a train station, it was a monument to the power of the railroad and a reflection of the classical Beaux-Arts style of the time.
French artist Paul César Helleu created an astronomical Grand Central mural above the Main Concourse. The constellations were painted in gold leaf on the rich blue-green sky. Electricity, still a novelty, powered 2,500 light bulb “stars.”
Far below street level, the terminal held well-kept secrets. In a sub-basement known as “M42,” electrical current was converted for use by the trains. During World War II, the area was constantly guarded against sabotage that would have slowed the flow of troops who were then shipped overseas.
Platform 61 under the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was another hidden feature in the terminal. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the platform’s private elevator to enter the hotel and avoid reporters.
A century after its tracks were first used, millions still come to Grand Central Terminal to catch a train or just experience an American landmark.