With the advent of electricity to power trains, a new station was needed to accommodate the additional traffic. William L Wingus, VP and Chief Engineer of NY Central & Hudson River held a competition between 4 firms including McKim Mead & White and Reed & Stem (relatively unknown but had done a lot of railroad terminals; Wilgus was married to Reed`s sister May). They were made to associate with Warren & Wetmore possibly because tWhitney Warren was the cousin of William K Vanderbilt. After Reed died in 1909, there were a few design changes and Whitney Warren became the architect. The final design produced 44 platforms on two levels making it the largest train station in the world. It became the hub of New York for decades. Movies were filmed there. Couples proposed under the great clock. It housed an art school, a library (which still exists) and even an apartment (which is now a bar). The Terminal fell into disrepair in the late 70's prompting multiple planning studies and proposals for its restoration. This finally happened in the late 90's and the terminal was lovingly restored and brought up to date. Retail was added in the former waiting rooms.Visitors can play tennis at the Vanderbilt Tennis Club located on the 4th floor, overlooking Park Avenue.
Constructed, Feb 2, 1913
Renovation, Oct 1, 1998
The terminal's late-1990s renovation added stands and restaurants to the dining concourse, and installed escalators to link it to the main concourse level. The MTA also spent $2.2 million to install two circular terrazzo designs by David Rockwell and Beyer Blinder Belle, each 45 feet in diameter, over the concourse's original terrazzo floor.In 1998, the hall was renovated and renamed Vanderbilt Hall after the family that built and owned the station