Vintage Photograph of Grand Central Terminal's Main Concourse Circa 1988

In the late 1970s, Grand Central Terminal’s owners faced bankruptcy and, figuring they had a solution, nearly slapped a 55-story office tower on top of the revered architectural marvel. The terminal was saved by the Supreme Court’s decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, “in which the Supreme Court upheld for the first time the principle on which landmark preservation laws are based,” wrote Paul Goldberger in The Times in 1990. William Brennan figures as the hero in Mr. Goldberger’s tale, having written the majority opinion that prevented the terminal’s owners, Penn Central, from developing on the landmark and thereby securing its status as a structure of public good. Justice Brennan believed, like many others, that historic buildings and other structures “enhance the quality of life for all.”
In the late 1970s, Grand Central Terminal’s owners faced bankruptcy and, figuring they had a solution, nearly slapped a 55-story office tower on top of the revered architectural marvel. The terminal was saved by the Supreme Court’s decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, “in which the Supreme Court upheld for the first time the principle on which landmark preservation laws are based,” wrote Paul Goldberger in The Times in 1990. William Brennan figures as the hero in Mr. Goldberger’s tale, having written the majority opinion that prevented the terminal’s owners, Penn Central, from developing on the landmark and thereby securing its status as a structure of public good. Justice Brennan believed, like many others, that historic buildings and other structures “enhance the quality of life for all.”
Photo: Keith Meyers
(photo back)
(photo back)
Photo: Keith Meyers

The Lively Morgue is a daily photo blog from the New York Times in which an original photo from the newspaper's archives is reposted along with tidbits of information gleamed from the historical article it accompanied. Along with a rescan of the original photograph, the backs of each photo are also scanned, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process of one of the world's best newspapers.

This post shows a vintage photograph of the Main Concourse in Grand Central Terminal from 1988.

In the late 1970s, Grand Central Terminal’s owners faced bankruptcy and, figuring they had a solution, nearly slapped a 55-story office tower on top of the revered architectural marvel. The terminal was saved by the Supreme Court’s decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, “in which the Supreme Court upheld for the first time the principle on which landmark preservation laws are based,” wrote Paul Goldberger in The Times in 1990. William Brennan figures as the hero in Mr. Goldberger’s tale, having written the majority opinion that prevented the terminal’s owners, Penn Central, from developing on the landmark and thereby securing its status as a structure of public good. Justice Brennan believed, like many others, that historic buildings and other structures “enhance the quality of life for all.”

Something wrong with this post? Let us know!

Brought To You By…