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Grand Central Terminal is 100 years old

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2013

To celebrate Grand Central’s 100th birthday, The Daily Beast has 100 facts about the NYC landmark.

1. Grand Central Terminal opened its doors at midnight on February 2, 1913.

9. To commemorate the centennial on Friday, shops and eateries will price their goods as if it were 1913. [Ed note: I doubt this applies to the Apple Store.]

39. A secret trap door in the kiosk below the clock leads to a spiral staircase down to the lower level info booth.

50. M42 connects to a secret underground platform at the Waldorf Astoria.

93. In 1978’s Superman, Lex Luther’s lair is located under the terminal.

Update: Another fact: Grand Central’s clocks are purposefully off by a minute.

The idea is that passengers rushing to catch trains they’re about to miss can actually be dangerous — to themselves, and to each other. So conductors will pull out of the station exactly one minute after their trains’ posted departure times. That minute of extra time won’t be enough to disconcert passengers too much when they compare it to their own watches or smartphones … but it is enough, the thinking goes, to buy late-running train-catchers just that liiiiiitle bit of extra time that will make them calm down a bit. Fast clocks make for slower passengers.

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