Credit: Peter Aaron/OTTO

Grand Central Terminal

BBB's work on the revitalization of Grand Central Terminal has transformed America's busiest train station into a contemporary, multi-use transit and retail hub.

BBB's work at Grand Central Terminal began more than 25 years ago, with an existing conditions assessment, historic structures report, and a master plan that served to return the facility to a state of good repair. Following the master plan, a multi-phased restoration began, starting with the Taxi Stand and the Terminal's former Main Waiting Room, now known as Vanderbilt Hall. These spaces served as a laboratory for the investigation of new preservation processes and a wide range of materials, including marble, travertine, terrazzo, Guastavino tile, and ornamental plaster. As a result of the master plan and preservation studies, BBB embarked upon two major projects at the Terminal.

The first was the Main Concourse rehabilitation project, which involved updating building-wide systems and significant revisions and additions to vertical circulation between the Main and Lower Concourse including new escalator banks, an upgraded Oyster Bar Ramp, and the re-creation of a monumental stair that appeared in Warren and Wetmore's original design but was never built. The Lower Concourse, formerly one of the most deserted places in the Terminal, has gained a new vitality and is now filled with quality food tenants frequented by commuters and midtown workers. BBB also led a year-long restoration of the vaulted ceiling, returning Paul César Helleu's mural to its original luster.

The second major focus, which took place concurrently, was the retail redevelopment of the Terminal through found space, which resulted in additional restaurants, cafés, specialty retailers, and a food market. A vacant bank building was reused to create a new 43rd Street station entrance on Lexington Avenue that is lined with fresh food stores and recalls the finest European open-air markets; the Hyatt Passageway was transformed into an elegant arcade with handsome storefronts and a variety of shops; restaurants were added to the previously vacant North and East balconies in the Main Concourse; and the passage that originally led to the Incoming Train Room was redesigned to include a café and open retail areas.

Since 2000, BBB has been working on the East Side Access, which includes the adaptive reuse of the Biltmore Room and Dining Concourse connections. Both designs were approved by the New York State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). BBB recently revisited the Lower Concourse and designed two new pavilions for food tenants in the Dining Concourse area.



MTA Metro-North Commuter Railroad; Grand Central Terminal Venture, Inc.


New York, NY


1.2 million SF




Founding Partner
Partner Emerita