This summer at NYHS my fellow interns and I are studying Howard Thain’s painting The Grand Central Terminal and researching the history of Grand Central Terminal. I have specifically been focusing on its majestic and ornate architectural style, which reflects the movement for visual luxury in New York at the time. Before Cornelius Vanderbilt purchased the land where Grand Central Depot would stand, that East-side neighborhood was considered dangerous and poorly maintained. However, once immigrant life and its hardships were exposed in publications such as Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, New Yorkers pushed for reform. Thus began the City Beautiful movement; starting with the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, groundbreaking monuments sprang up across the New York skyline. When Grand Central Depot, a rail yard for steam engines arriving from upstate New York, proved to be too dangerous after the crash of 1902, Vanderbilt’s sons planned to expand. To prevent traffic troubles from happening again, engineer William J. Wilgus developed an effective floor-plan complete with tracks for electric-powered trains. Whitney Warren, the architect who got the commission for designing the terminal, ended up sharing the project with the architecture firm Reed & Stern. Today, it is difficult to give proper credit to each architect for specific elements of the majestic design, since many ideas blended together in the process. One thing is certain; the architectural feat not only beautified New York, but it also proved efficient for crowd control with its well-placed transverses and corridors.