June Marked 40 Years Since Supreme Court Ruling Saved Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal as seen on Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Last month marked 40 years since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for the preservation of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

A Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 1978, preserved the building’s historic landmark status and prohibited the construction of a 53-story office building overhead.

Several notable New Yorkers organized by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), including former First Lady and MAS Board Member Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, led the historic campaign to rescue Grand Central.

“Grand Central Terminal demonstrates the lasting benefits that come from investing in infrastructure,” MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said in a news release. “This investment in a terminal that has become an international treasure connects its past to its future, as we are seeing with numerous infrastructure improvements happening all over the city, including at One Vanderbilt, the East Side Access project, and with Moynihan Station.”

The train terminal opened in 1913.

The renovated main entry foyer on 42nd Street and Park Avenue is named for Kennedy Onassis. By effectively saving the building, the ruling opened discussions to consider major improvements to Grand Central, which had been falling into disrepair, officials contend.

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