Bringing Grand Central elevators up to speed

September 6, 2010 3:07:58 PM PDT
Grand Central Terminal is filled with history. But in the rush of getting around, it's easy to miss some things.

A multimillion-dollar project is now underway to restore and update old elevators that have gone un-noticed to many for years.

The 10 elevators were built way back in 1913.

Coryann Carlson is the project manager for an expensive elevator rebuilding project. And riders can't wait.

"They're slow, really slow," said rider Nick Colavito, from Howard Beach.

Slow, out-dated, beat up and prone to breakdowns. Now, $7.7 million of stimulus money will bring them up to speed while preserving their landmark details and turn-of-the-century elegance.

"It'll be incredibly rewarding when it's all done," Carlson said.

Nearly three-quarters of a million people pass through the 48-acres of Grand Central every day, admiring the grand architecture and history. Even the elevators have stories to tell.

The E level, for example, is still a bit of a mystery

"We did a lot of research, but we're pretty unsure of what it stands for," Carlson said. "I've heard entresol, I've heard esplanade. The oldest information we could find says possibly express baggage level."

The E will soon become a B, for balcony level.

So get ready to give them a whirl and travel up and away in Grand style.