Those hurried commuters who take a moment to look up might notice an expansive night sky that graces the entire ceiling of Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse. Several famous constellations are illustrated, such asOrion(the hunter) and the winged steed Pegasus.
Does Grand Central Terminal have a star map on the ceiling?
But looking up, visitors could be introduced to a whole new mesmerizing experience: the ceiling at Grand Central Terminal is its own attraction, a beautiful barrel vault ceiling dotted with stars and constellations – and just like a star map, this ceiling has many, many stories to tell.
Where is the dark spot on the Grand Central Terminal ceiling?
Look up in the far corner over the West Balcony and you can see the dark spot that was left unscrubbed.The ceiling of Grand Central Terminal is decorated with a mural of the celestial sky depicting constellations, including the signs of the zodiac.The patch is just to the left of the image of Cancer, the crab. Want to see fewer ads?
Who painted the ceiling of the Grand Central Terminal?
The Grand Central Terminal ceiling took dozens of people to create but was primarily the work of five men: architect Whitney Warren, of Warren Wetmore, the Terminal’s architects, French artist Paul Helleu, muralist J. Monroe Hewlett and painter Charles Basing of the Hewlett-Basing Studio in Brooklyn, as well as astronomer Dr. Harold Jacoby of …
Where did the mural of the constellations come from?
Drawing heavily from Johann Bayer’s 1603 star atlas Uranometria for the design of the constellations, the mural was originally painted right onto the Terminal’s plaster vaulted ceiling. Orion as he appears in the ‘Uranometria’ versus the Grand Central mural.
What constellation is reversed in the ceiling mural?
But something about this layout is still troubling. Even though all the constellations are now where they should be, Orion is reversed!
What did Jacoby and Basing say about the ceiling?
Both Jacoby and Basing were asked how the ceiling’s layout could have gotten flipped. Jacoby offered the explanation that the original diagram had been laid out correctly and would match perfectly against a celestial atlas. As such, the diagram was meant to be held overhead. When the image was projected onto the ceiling for painting, Basing (according to Jacoby) must have laid it on the floor and projected it upwards, reversing the image. As for Basing, he “showed little interest in the technical defects and added that he thought the work had been done very well.”
What arm did Bayer look at?
This wouldn’t have been all that confusing except that Bayer then had him looking towards his uplifted arm (depicted holding a club) instead of towards his more traditional lower arm (with the lion’s skin) which would have him staring straight at Taurus.
What does the star that Bayer drew as Orion’s right ankle mean?
Bayer’s reversal becomes all the more fascinating when you consider Rigel, the star Bayer drew as Orion’s right ankle, is a word derived from Arabic meaning “left leg”. This wouldn’t have been all that confusing except that Bayer then had him looking towards his uplifted arm (depicted holding a club) instead of towards his more traditional lower arm (with the lion’s skin) which would have him staring straight at Taurus.
Why is Orion flipped around?
It could be that someone wanted Orion to be facing Taurus, the celestial hunter squaring off against the legendary bull. In order to do this, Bayer’s Orion would have to be turned around.
When was the New York Central mural restored?
In June, 1945 the mural was revealed to be “entirely restored.”. Except that it wasn’t. Rather than restore the original mural the New York Central simply painted a new one. Covering the entire ceiling with eight-foot by four-foot sheets of cement-and-asbestos board, an entirely new mural was painted from scratch.
Where is the source of Orion’s Grand Central confusion?
The images of the constellations were based almost line for line on the engravings in the Bayer Atlas and it is here, in the Uranometria, that the source of Orion’s Grand Central confusion lies. Typically, when constellations were depicted in celestial atlases they followed the Hipparchus rule; that is, if the stars are depicted as they would be …
About the accuracy of stars In grand central
Perhaps it was a poetic sentiment, inspired by the countless stories and poems written about the stars, perhaps it was the millennia-old usage of stars as navigation, direction, and measuring tool, that led to the constellations in the ceiling of Grand Central’s Main Concourse was a prime feature of the Terminal from the beginning.
About the hole in grand central’s ceiling
How about that non-conspicuous black hole sitting beside the Main Concourse ceiling’s 2,500 stars?
the ‘square’ found on the grand central ceiling
During World War II was what many call the Terminal’s “darkest days” and they were that in more ways than the metaphorical: to prevent the building from being targeted by enemy aircraft, the windows were painted black, the whole station obscured.
What constellations are on the ceiling of Grand Central?
Included are Orion, Taurus, and Gemini. And interestingly, a no-longer-recognized star pattern, the Northern Fly, is one of the constellations depicted on the ceiling at Grand Central.
Which constellation is shown as clobbering Taurus?
Also, the positions of the constellations relative to each other are only approximate. Yet, despite all of this, Orion, the Hunter is shown correctly, clobbering Taurus, the Bull directly, instead of interposing his shield, as in conventional renderings.
Who said "Leave it alone"?
As for those who snipe about this “wrong way” sky, astronomy author George Lovi (1939-1993) wrote: “Leave it alone. Its flaws are part of its fascination, as with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
Do stars have light bulbs?
The brightest stars have light bulbs at the center of the star symbols, creating a most interesting effect, especially at night. No attempt was apparently made to produce an accurate star map; indeed, the stars are actually arranged in reverse order, as would be on a celestial globe.
What is the key ingredient in the brown sludge on the ceiling?
A sticky patina of water stains, train soot, dirt and grime had smothered the ceiling, but the key ingredient in the brown sludge was tobacco —decades and decades of cigarette smoke wafting up with no means of escape. To clean it all and still preserve the ceiling’s luster was painstaking work, using only mild sudsy water …
Where is the Grand Central Terminal?
Grand Central Terminal is at 42nd Street and Park Avenue, served by commuter trains and several subway lines. Enter on the 42nd Street side and walk straight into the Main Concourse. Look up in the far corner over the West Balcony and you can see the dark spot that was left unscrubbed.The ceiling of Grand Central Terminal is decorated with a mural of the celestial sky depicting constellations, including the signs of the zodiac.The patch is just to the left of the image of Cancer, the crab.
When was the Grand Central Terminal reconstructed?
In 1998, after two years of renovations, the scaffolding came down from Grand Central Terminal’s Main Concourse. After decades of neglect and decline the station was finally being restored, including a thorough scrubbing of the ceiling. Well, nearly thorough.
Where is the crab in the ceiling?
In the northwest corner of the ceiling, crossing the teal-blue background and the arch over the West Balcony, there is a small, dark rectangle that was left untouched. Look up and find the crab, and near its claw you can still see the spot, almost 20 years later.
Who was the original owner of the terminal?
The quirk was cleverly explained back in 1913 by Cornelius Vanderbilt (the original owner and builder of the terminal) as being a depiction of the heavenly bodies not as they would be seen from below, but from above—as if by God himself.
How much paint did we use to restore a gold leaf?
The customized cleaning solution was so successful in releasing the dirt from the surface without damage that very little in-painting or gold-leaf repair was needed. We used less than 1 quart of paint, and approximately 30 sheets of 4×4-inch gold-leaf squares to complete the restoration.
What caused the original mural to be damaged?
The original mural was damaged beyond repair from roof leaks that destroyed the plaster. In 1944 it was decided that the mural was to be duplicated on fiberboard panels cemented to the plaster ceiling. Charles Gulbrandsen and his team were the artists responsible for the replication.
Why were buckets placed in kids pools?
The buckets were placed inside plastic “kiddie pools”, as a first line of containment, in which a spill could be completely contained.
What happens when a cloth gets dirty?
As the cloth became dirty, it was folded to expose a clean side. Soiled cloths were discarded and the process repeated until the cloth was cleaned. 5. The cleaned section was dried thoroughly before moving on to a new section.
What is the purpose of untouched patches?
The untouched patches do provide a before and after illustration for viewers, but that is not their primary purpose. In conservation, it is standard practice to preserve evidence of conditions for historic documentation and to provide the opportunity for future study.
When was the sky mural restored?
In the fifteen years between the completion of the restoration in 1998 and the 100th anniversary celebration in 2013, myths and legends surrounding the creation, condition, and cleaning of the sky mural began to circulate, ultimately taking hold as fact in stories from such trusted sources as NBC News, NPR, and documentaries and articles produced by the History Channel. Even scripts provided to station tour guides today, as well as the current audio tour app, perpetuate these myths.
Does dirt contain nicotine?
A detailed analysis of the dirt by scientists at McCrone Associates reported that the dirt and grime did not contain any nicotine or particles that could be attributed to cigar or cigarette smoke. The sometimes 2-inch thick grime was the result of decades of air pollutants – specifically car and truck exhaust, and the emissions soot and contaminants from industrial plants and apartment-building incinerators.