LIB/ARCH2205 Learning Places

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  • 9.12.16: Response 1
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    Nora Almeida

    Read: The Heart of New York: Grand Central Terminal (Login required)

    Why is GC considered “an achievement of civil engineering”?
    Discuss one specific engineering detail in particular to support your claim.



    I believe that GC is considered an achievement of civil engineering because it spurred the dawn of electric train cars as well as tunnels. From the article, I took it to mean that before the “reinvention” of GC, the trains ran above ground and entered a tunnel to get to the terminus. By running electrified track all the way to edge of Westchester, the track work for our modern day mta was probably laid.


    Victor Ramirez

    The Heart of New York: Grand Central Terminal
    Why is Grand Central Terminal considered “an achievement of engineering”?

    As a result of an accident that killed many people, the City and State of New York asked the owners of Grand Central to make changes in response to the tragedy. William J. Wilgus was responsible for reinventing the railroad service. His idea was to excavate two underground lines with electrification.

    From the engineering perspective, it seemed a difficult task due to the removal and relocation of millions of cubics of soil. Workers used the latest technology in excavation by blasting and using steam shovels and steam railcars. Another difficult task was the construction of an underground steel frame that would support two stories of train cars and the building loads as well as the live loads.

    It took 10 years to finish the entire project. Today, Grand Central Terminal is considered a New York City landmark not only because of its architectural design, but because of the great achievement of the engineering behind this landmark.


    Richard Lok

    One great achievement about the construction of Grand Central was that it was renovated to become a two-level underground rail yard. Increasing train storage and decrease traffic all around. Without disturbing railroad service, construction of the new terminal over the old one was divided into twelve different sections that were built one by one. As one section was ready for service they would move on to the next one. Grand Central also succeeded in becoming an electrified railroad terminal. Although they weren’t the first it helped push forward the development of electric traction technology. The electrified zone extended beyond north of Manhattan and into the Bronx. Making it the longest electrified railroad ever constructed.


    Victoria Cotis

    Homework #1
    The Heart of New York: Grand Central Terminal
    Why is GC (Grand Central) considered “an achievement of civil engineering”?

    I considered Grand Central Terminal an achievement of civil engineering. Grand Central is a famous NYC landmark in Midtown Manhattan. Located on 42nd St and Park Ave and the largest and one of the busiest railway in the world. Since 1871, Grand Central has a numerous of repair and restorations for years from steam train to electrification train and from name changing from Grand Central Depot to Grand Central Terminal.


    sotir zhupa

    I believe Grand Central Terminal is considered a great achievement of civil engineering because of its success in solving the flaws that its predecessor the Grand Central Depot had. For example, one of these flaws that were corrected in the new and improved building and that stood out in my mind while reading this article was the sheer size of it and the elaborate and well thought out planning of this structure. By creating different sections for arriving trains and departing trains, as well as trains that go long distances or stay in the city for commercial use, it enabled Grand Central Terminal to run much more smoothly and in turn make many people lives easier and safer.



    I consider the renovation/expansion of GC by building the 2 layers without disrupting service is an achievement of civil engineering. I think that with all the blasting and excavating would have made it very difficult to keep trains running, but it seems that Wilgus had all this planned out and had the tracks and cars relocated. I believe that the following statement supports my take on GC being an achievement of civil engineering:
    “The site was divided into 12 longitudinal sections that would be built one by one. Within each section, workers would demolish the existing structures, remove the tracks, and excavate to an average depth of 50 ft. they would then go on to build the foundations, framing, and platforms and would install the tracks, switches, and signaling systems necessary to make that section ready for service”
    I think that this is the most amazing thing about the construction of GC.

    Works Cited
    BROWN, JEFF L. “The Heart Of New York: Grand Central Terminal.” Civil Engineering (08857024) 83.3 (2013): 38-41. Military & Government Collection. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by neil85.
    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by neil85.

    Joyce Tam

    Grand Central was considered an achievement of civil engineering because of its success in the renovation of Grand Central through expanding train capacity, increasing to two levels by strategically taking into consideration of commuter’s traffic, facility for baggage-handling, and employing different technologies and methods to building a new terminal consisting of 12 sections without disrupting service. Even after more than 100 years later, the capacity of the expansion of the train storage capacity from “366 to 1,149 cars” still did not exceeded. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the expansion of Grand Central without disrupting the everyday commuting service. They have compromised with many existing elements of the old site, and was still able to electrify the railroad terminal.



    Grand Central Terminal is considered one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in New York City, I believe Grand Central is considered a civil engineering achievement because its ability to stay a architectural marvel for so long in history despite the minor setbacks it has received in history. For example in the article “The heart Of New York: Grand Central Terminal” it explains the years of renovation it had to sustain in the early 1900’s plus its conflict in the 1960’s over its preservation. One element of why it is a civil engineering achievement is because of how technologically advance it was during the time. For example it was construction was able to help advance technology in electric traction back then in the 1900’s plus bring new types of trains to the railroad system.Personally i believe it is one of the main places one must see when they come to New York City.


    Maryse Maurice

    Why is GC considered “an achievement of civil engineering”?
    Grand Central considered as “an achievement of civil engineering because of their achievements on solving some major problems. As stated in the article, “Relocating the tracks underground solved several problems at once. It increased the train storage capacity from 366 to 1,149 cars. Second, it opened up more space for train movements. Also, it started from “Grand Central Depot” to “Grand Central Termination. this prove how GC have changed over the past years. Best known not only for its underground rail yards or its electrical systems, also for its architectural design.



    Grand Central Terminal is considered an achievement of the civil engineering because it includes a lot of calculation in force, gravity and electricity. It said” Its centerpiece is the Grand Concourse, a soaring space that features an arched, 25,000 sq ft ceiling decorated with the constellations of the Milky Way.”and “Extensive blasting was required to excavate some 1.6 million cu yd of rock and 1.2 million cu yd of soil.” Without all the precise calculation in science, Grand Central Terminal could never be finished.



    The Grand Central Terminal is considered an achievement of civil engineering because it was renovated successfully. William J. Wilgus proposed to build two underground rail yards. Also, the train storage capacity of the station increased threefold. By this, to increase the number of trains per day became possible. As a result, a hundred million passengers used the GCT a year. Without this advancement, existing the Grand Central Terminal could not have come about.


    Jesus Mendoza

    We can all agree that Grand Central Terminal is a monumental and spectacular creation, but why is it an achievement of civil engineering? Well for starters it marked the beginning of many new and valuable ideas. The transition from steam powered trains to electric powered would later become such a valuable asset that we continue to use today. Allowing the terminal to be built underground also allowed for easier connection between trains and streets and allowed for less space to be taken within Manhattan streets. A 100 years, the terminal is still up and running and still just as beautiful as ever.


    Bryan Ortiz

    I’d say the Grand Central Terminal is ” an achievement of civil engineering” because of the chief engineer himself, William Wilgus. It was him who thought of the making of this building, not only making the calculations to make the terminal last long, but also adaptable. The terminal has lasted for almost 100 years now, with only renovations and repairs. His idea of making the train system underground helped much of New York have easier access to more trains. The Grand Central Terminal is a great addition to New York, and will continue to be for a long time.


    Noorul Ain

    Why is GC considered “an achievement of civil engineering”?
    Grand central considered an achievement of civil engineering because it was not only the first electrified railroad terminal that similar belongs to Paris’s gare d’Orsay which opened in 1900 but its construction did advances achievements in electric traction technology. It avoided the disrupting services of Grand central terminal by building two level of underground tracks for the also increased the trains capacity of the station more than threefold from 366 to 1,149 cars. As the article was a huge construction but still Grand central reached its capacity much Sooner than had estimated.

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