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Governor Cuomo Announces LED Lighting Installed on Pershing Square Viaduct at Grand Central

Pershing Square Viaduct
Pershing Square Viaduct

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the illumination of Pershing Square viaduct in front of Grand Central Terminal with color-changing LED lighting. The lighting, which is intended to complement the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal, will enhance the ability of nighttime pedestrians anywhere along 42nd Street to find their way to Grand Central at a glance.

"Grand Central Terminal is one of our great public landmarks, and this new lighting on the Pershing Square Viaduct further enhances the beauty and grandeur of this New York icon," Governor Cuomo said. "This is one of the many infrastructure improvements this administration is making to New York’s transportation network in order to improve its form, function and reliability in order to meet the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers."

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said, “With these new LED lights, the Pershing Square Viaduct will serve as a beacon to Grand Central Terminal—one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and also one of the busiest, serving 750,000 people every day. Not only will it help customers find their way to Grand Central, it can foster a sense of shared pride and community through stunning light displays that celebrate holidays and special occasions.”

MTA Metro-North Railroad will maintain the lighting and manage the color choice as part of its duties to operate Grand Central Terminal. The lighting was installed in a joint effort between Metro-North, the Grand Central Partnership, a business improvement district covering east Midtown, and the New York City Department of Transportation, which owns the viaduct.

Grand Central Partnership Chairman of the Board Peter S. Kalikow said, "GCP was excited to partner with Metro-North Railroad and the New York City Department of Transportation to transform the Pershing Square Viaduct into a grand illuminated gateway to iconic Grand Central Terminal. GCP was pleased to coordinate the completion of this project with the recent installation of new energy efficient LED stadium lights on roofs and setbacks of adjoining properties to brilliantly light the grand façade of this landmark structure."

The viaduct carries two lanes of Park Avenue over East 42nd Street. It was named a national historic landmark in 1983, and has been featured prominently in many films, including Men In Black, I Am Legend, and The Avengers. As part of the project to install the lighting, the words “Grand Central Terminal” and “Pershing Square Plaza” were added in capital letters on both its east and west facades using Garamond 3, the font used for signs throughout Grand Central.

The bridge over 42nd Street is the most visibly prominent part of a viaduct that extends from 40th to 46th Streets and was built from 1912 to 1919, shortly after the completion of Grand Central Terminal in 1913. It restored north-south travel in the lower 40s along Park Avenue, which had been decommissioned in the 1860s to make way for Grand Central’s predecessor facilities and their accompanying train yards. Today, the viaduct hugs the east and west sides of Grand Central and the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue, and cutting diagonally through the lower floors of the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue.