New Lightbox Installation Highlights Rare View of Grand Central

An image from Lynn Saville's exhibit "Grand Central Revealed: Photographs of the west façade"

Heading to Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall to sample the delights of the popular Taste of the Terminal event? Take a stroll downstairs to the Dining Concourse for a once-in-a-century view while you're nibbling.

The terminal's West Dining Concourse is hosting a yearlong photography exhibit, "Grand Central Revealed: Photographs of the west façade," as part of MTA Arts & Design's Lightbox program, which presents photographic exhibits at select subway and commuter rail stations. Lynn Saville's exhibit of the western facade of Grand Central Terminal, which was installed this month, is particularly apt at this location since it showcases a view of the terminal that will vanish again in a New York minute: for the first time in nearly a century, the terminal's western façade can be seen at street level in an uninterrupted, sweeping view.

Five buildings spanning an acre-size city block were demolished to prepare for the construction of One Vanderbilt, a 1,401 foot office tower due to be completed in 2020, but this impressive view of Grand Central will be blocked again once One Vanderbilt starts to rise above ground level later this year.

Saville, a fine-arts photographer, sought to capture this unique moment in the city's architectural history, as well as daily moments of this unique view such as the traffic of the quintessential New York rush hour, dawn and dusk and the times in between, and the way light from nearby buildings reflect onto the western facade. Saville's work in long-exposure large-format photographs typically feature built spaces and artificial as well as natural light, often in contrast together, and framed cinematically. The Lightbox installation features her photographs in monographs that are backlit to highlight the colors and details of the images.

Saville's photographs are also published in her 2015 book, "Dark City: Urban America at Night." More information on this Lightbox exhibit is available here.

Other locations of MTA Arts & Design's Lightbox photographic installations include Bowling Green 4 Subway5 Subway, 42 St-Bryant Park B SubwayD SubwayF SubwayM Subway, and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr 2 Subway3 Subway4 Subway5 SubwayB SubwayD SubwayM SubwayN SubwayQ Subway LIRR. Exhibitions rotate approximately every 12-16 months and a range of photographic work is represented through this ever-changing venue. The images are presented in large scale lightboxes 45 inches by 66 inches in size that are printed by local providers that donate their services. "Grand Central Revealed" was generously sponsored by Duggal and Kodak alaris. 

An image from Lynn Saville's exhibit "Grand Central Revealed: Photographs of the west façade"