The Lights of Grand Central - Desktop Images

posted on: February 24, 2014

There are things in our lives which we feel strangely connected to, perhaps it's fashion from a certain point in history or vistas in another city, or we might favor certain arts and sports while considering others to be boring.  We know it when we see it because it enchants and fascinates us like a lover we can't take our eyes off of.  For me, certain styles of architecture and design make me swoon, especially when it's evident that a great deal of consideration was put not just into the function of a space or fixture, but into the aesthetic quality and craftsmanship as well.  Grand Central has it all for me- a public palace full of smart design and artisan indulgence with no detail left unconsidered.

Grand Central Lights-1927
Chandelier embellishments of acorns and leaves created by Parisian sculptor Sylvain SaliƩres to represent the Vanderbuilt family crest
technical detail: iso 800, 38mm, f/9.0, 1/60s, handheld, ambient light

The lights of Grand Central are particularly iconic, from the finely crafted chandeliers to the planetarium-style painted ceiling with tiny lights representing stars, not only serving a function, but also becoming their own visual works of art that act as fine jewelry and a special embroidered scarf over an exquisitely tailored dress. With so much detail, it's a luxury to find yourself stopping just to stare at the ceiling while everyone whizzes by you to catch their next connection.

Grand Central Lights-1998
Bronze chandeliers created by Sterling Bronze Company
technical detail: iso 800, 24mm, f/14, 1/8s, handheld, ambient light
Will there ever be another time when such care, detail, and flourish is incorporated into such a large public space again? Until that time comes, at least we can adorn our computers with such artful creations. Click any image to download a copy for your desktop, and please contact me directly for additional use or publication of these images.  More information on the Grand Central architecture and design can be found at http://www.gcthistory.com/#s2.

Grand Central Lights-1948
Sky ceiling painted by French artist Paul Helleu, friend of architect Whitney Warren as a budget replacement for skylights
technical photo detail: iso 800, 25mm, f/5.6, 1/4s, handheld, ambient light

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