Have You Spotted This Wild Easter Egg at Grand Central Station?
The next time you travel through Grand Central Station you'll want to keep your eyes open for a fascinating secret hiding in plain sight that most New Yorkers don't even know about.
Whenever I take a trip from the Hudson Valley on Metro-North, I make a point to look for an amazing piece of history that most people have never noticed. Grand Central Station is actually one of the ten most visited tourist attractions in the world. Before the pandemic, the historic train station saw over 21.6 million annual visitors -- and that doesn't even include railway passengers. With all of those people passing through, it's amazing to think that most of them have no idea about this cool easter egg.
First opened to the public 110 years ago, Grand Central Station has seen lots of changes. Most recently, a new lower-level terminal with connecting service to Long Island was built underneath the existing station. However, even with all of these upgrades, the main concourse and many of its beautiful details look the same as they did on the day the train station opened.
Hidden Easter Egg at Grand Central Terminal
If you want to see one of the best-kept secrets at Grand Central Station, you're going to need to look up. The famous ceiling depicts the skies above with a star map complete with illuminated constellations. While the overhead mural is one of the most viewed and photographed pieces of art in New York, there's one part that very few people notice.
On the northwest corner of the building, just above Track 30, is a darkened patch of ceiling. It may take you a few moments to locate it, but when you find it you'll see that the patch covers a part of the mural and the stone arch that stretches above the west balcony.
What appears to be a dark blemish is actually a piece of preserved history
In 1996, Grand Central Terminal underwent a two-year restoration that cost just under $200 million. Most of the work was done on the famous ceiling that had become badly stained from years of neglect. Decades of cigarette smoke and train engine soot had turned the mural and stonework brown and dingy. Restorers painstakingly scrubbed every inch of the tarnished ceiling except for one square patch.
The stained patch was left alone to demonstrate just how dirty the ceiling was before the colorful mural was cleaned.
It's hard to believe just how much of a mess this beautiful train station was allowed to become. Seeing the dirty square on the ceiling makes one even more thankful for all of the time and effort that was put into restoring such a beautiful landmark.
So the next time you visit Grand Central Terminal, while the rest of the tourists are taking photos of the concourse, point your attention to the hidden corner of the ceiling and check out this really cool easter egg left by the restoration team.