Statuary of Grand Central Terminal
Jules-Alexis Coutan, sculptor
Hercules, Mercury, and Minerva Above the South Entrance to Grand Central Terminal
Photo © Jackie Craven
Grand Central Terminal's South Facade, Without Surrounding Motorized Traffic
Photo © Salim Virji from flickr.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)
"As a bullet train seeks its target, shining rails in every part of our great country are aimed at Grand Central Station, heart of the nation's greatest city. Drawn by the magnetic force of the fantastic metropolis, day and night great trains rush toward the Hudson River, sweep down its eastern bank for 140 miles. flash briefly by the long red row of tenement houses south of 125th Street, dive with a roar into the 2 1/2 mile tunnel which burrows beneath the glitter and swank of Park Avenue and then... Grand Central Station! Crossroads of a million lives! Gigantic stage on which are played a thousand dramas daily."
--Opening from "Grand Central Station," broadcast over the NBC Radio Blue Network, 1937
The grand, Beaux Arts building once known as "Grand Central Station" is actually a terminal, because it is the end of the line for trains. The south entrance to Grand Central Terminal is adorned by Jules-Alexis Coutan's 1914 symbolic statuary, which surrounds the terminal's iconic clock. Fifty feet high, Mercury, the Roman god of travel and business, is flanked by the wisdom of Minerva and the strength of Hercules. The clock, 14 feet in diameter, was made by the Tiffany Company.