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Grand Central Secrets: The Whispering Gallery

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The Grand Central Station in New York City (also known as Grand Central Terminal and Grand Central) that we all know and admire today was officially opened in 1913 (after the first station had been demolished once steam locomotives became obsolete).

But not many of today’s tourists or locals know about Grand Central’s secrets; one in particular being the Whispering Gallery at Grand Central Station.

Grand Central Secrets: The Whispering Gallery at Grand Central Station

Grand Central Secrets - The Whispering Gallery

The “whispering gallery” at Grand Central Station can be found in the terminal’s dining area on the lower floor outside the Oyster Bar & Restaurant.

If you and your travelling partner stand on opposite corners of the arched entryway, face the walls and speak normally, you’ll be able to hear each other as if you’re standing right next to one another.

Having tested it out during our trip to New York earlier this year, I can categorically state that it does work!

I wasn’t sure whether we could believe it before visiting, but we were proved wrong.

It’s all down to how this entryway was built. The low arches and curve of the domed ceiling help sound to travel and follow the arches, and allow you and your partner to whisper sweet nothings to one another, even when the terminal is super busy! 

This is one activity that must be on your NYC bucket list!

A couple prepare to whisper their sweet nothings to one another via The Whispering Gallery

Grand Central Secrets: The Zodiac Ceiling

In the main concourse of the terminal, and something that every visitor admires, is the painted zodiac and star-studded ceiling.

Grand Central Secrets: The Zodiac Ceiling
Photo Credit: Arnoldius for Wikimedia Commons

But something that not many know is that the zodiac was actually painted upside down!

So instead of it portraying the view we see when looking to the skies, it shows it from “God’s point of view”, as was traditional in Medieval times.

Some experts say this was intentional, while others argue that it was a mistake in the original sketches that was never corrected.

Either way, it just goes to show how many secrets Grand Central Station really does have!


Grand Central Terminal in New York

Over to you now — will you want to try the Whispering Gallery at Grand Central Station yourself? What else will be on your NYC bucket list? Let me know in the comments below…

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Grand Central Secrets: The Whispering Gallery at Grand Central

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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