Grand Central Palace

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Coordinates: 40°45′16″N 73°58′27″W / 40.75444°N 73.97425°W / 40.75444; -73.97425

Postcard of the Grand Central Palace

The Grand Central Palace was an exhibition hall in New York City. Built in 1911,[1] the 13-story building was located on Lexington Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, occupying the air rights over the railroad tracks leading into Grand Central Terminal. The Palace was designed by Warren and Wetmore and Reed and Stem, who had collaborated on Grand Central Terminal. It replaced the original Grand Central Palace, built in 1893 on Lexington Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets and demolished by 1913 to make way for the Grand Central development after it had served as a temporary station during the building of the terminal.[2] The Palace was New York's main exposition hall until it closed in 1953. Its location and the proximity of Grand Central Terminal spurred the construction of a hotel district in the area.[1] The new Grand Central Palace was demolished in 1964 to make way for 245 Park Avenue.[3]


The Grand Central Palace followed the precedent set by the Beaux-Arts architecture of Grand Central Terminal. The Lexington Avenue facade featured a portico supported by four classical columns. The lower three stories were occupied by exhibition spaces with the main exhibition hall on the second and third stories, and the ten upper floors were used for offices.[1]

Events and tenants[edit]

The Grand Central Palace hosted auto, boat, flower and trade shows. It was also the site of the Women's Industrial Expositions from 1912-1915.[4]

In 1911, the First Industrial Aeroplane Show, (Industrial Airplane Show), was held in conjunction with the U.S. International Auto Show at Manhattan’s Grand Central Palace, in New York City. The event ran from December 31, 1910 through mid-January 1911. It was a spectacular event as many of the public had never seen an airplane.,[5][6]

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was held at the Grand Central Palace, as well as the Exposition of Architecture and Allied Arts in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The 1927 exposition featured the installation of a Welte-Mignon theater organ in the hall.[3] Tenants included the Selective Service and the Internal Revenue Service.[1]

As of September 1918, the Grand Central Palace was leased as "Disembarkation Hospital no. 5" for American Expeditionary Forces returning from Europe.[7] As of October 1942, the Grand Central Palace served as an induction center for the U.S. Army.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Dunlap, David W. (December 18, 2012). "When Trade Shows Were Both Central and Grand". New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ "History at Grand Central" (PDF). History Channel. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Exposition of Architecture and Allied Arts". NYC AGO. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ "A Corner of an Exhibit at the Women's Industrial Exposition New York City, 1915" The School Arts Magazine, Vol. 15 No. 9 (May, 1916), 678.
  5. ^ Grand Central Palace Automobile Show has Auspicious Opening,” New York Times, page, 34. January 1, 1911.
  6. ^ "Aeroplanes at Palace Exhibit: Air Machines to be Feature of International Automobile," New York Times, page C10. December 18, 1910.
  7. ^ War Department Annual Reports (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1920), vol. 1, part 3: Report of the Surgeon General (continued), p. 2989.
  8. ^ "Army opens biggest induction center in U.S.," Life, 13 (20) : 51, 52, 54, 56, and 58 (November 16, 1942).