Grand Central's Next 100

With the proposed upzoning of East Midtown and the anticipated completion of East Side Access in 2019, Manhattan is poised for a new phase of urban growth. In 2012, the Municipal Art Society of New York asked SOM to conceive a visionary solution for an increased demand for public space near Grand Central Terminal.

SOM’s master plan, which generated considerable buzz when revealed, alleviates pedestrian congestion at street level by restructuring privately owned public spaces to create walkable corridors through multiple city blocks. It also adds layers of public space above and below existing public realms.

Perhaps most notably, the ambitious plan envisions an iconic circular observation deck above the historic transit hub, where visitors take in stunning, panoramic views of the city. The disk moves vertically, bringing people from the cornice of Grand Central to the peak of the Manhattan skyline. This “floating” deck would be both a spectacular experience and a powerful symbol of 21st century New York.