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National Geographic - Inside Grand Central
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Sometimes referred to as a `city within a city', Grand Central has its own fire and police departments, the nation's largest lost and found, huge power and operations facilities hidden in secret locations, and many of the conveniences that you would expect to find in a modern suburban mall.
When it comes to a comprehensive history, there is full coverage of that here by National Geographic. Beginning with railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt's masterful idea to build Grand Central Depot (as it was known then), segments cover the massive construction efforts, the transformation from steam engines to electrical trains, and the glamorous and famous 20th Century Limited line that was then comparable to the Orient Express.
In later chapters, the automobile and jet age are explored in how they threatened the livelihood of railway transportation due to their newfound popularity. Along with this is a look at the demise of Penn Station and how Grand Central Station almost suffered a similar fate until it was eventually saved from destruction by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rounding out this program, it details how a complete restoration was performed on the aging terminal and explores the modern security measures in place to safeguard the facility against terrorism and other threats.Read more ›
A documentary for many interests, this National Geographic presentation examines many aspects of the station from the history, the restoration, it technological advancements, how it runs, its security against terrorism, and future plans. None of these topics are covered as thoroughly as they could be, but as a general interest documentary, this one is excellent. It really shows why it was so important that Grand Central was saved from demolition.
The informative narrative gives a historical overview of the Grand Central and its relationship to New York City. It also exposes hidden secrets about the station never before revealed.
What the video doesn't reveal are the dark, dirty, and dangerous train platforms...a sharp and bitter contrast to the sparkling interior of main hall. Walking to and from Metro North trains on these grimy platforms often feels unsafe. This is a security risk that also deserves a major renovation.
One could literally eat off the floor under the train sheds of Paddington and St. Pancras in London. I wouldn't suggest trying that in Grand Central, Penn Station, 30th Street, or Washington Union Station.
This documentary suffered from a lack of a script editor and a video editor. If you're over 30, you'll find the nonstop MTV style swooping camera movement nauseating. Suitable for a documentary on rollercoasters, not on a building.
The same phrases are repeated too many times and should have been cut. They should at least be consistent. You will lose count of how many times they tell you how many people a day pass through the station. And the number they tell you keeps changing. Cmon.
I found very little substance and at least 30 minutes of useless and repetitive fluff in this documentary. Very disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent video of a historic edifice in New York. The Grand Central was on the verge of demolition but Jacqueline Kennedy lobbied unrelenting to maintain the historic terminalPublished on December 4, 2013 by Bernard W. Martin
I somehow expected that this volume would have more about the "nuts and bolts" operations of GCT, both in the past and at presentPublished on May 27, 2013 by Wallace Day
What a fascinating historical (and current) account of this landmark. My wife and I cannot wait to revisit it next trip to NYC.Published on March 21, 2013 by JERRY ZANKO
I received great service & it was a really good DVD. I am a railfan & would recommend this to any other railfanPublished on December 12, 2012 by Lee Guinn
I love Grand Central Terminal. I love National Geographic. I did not love this documentary. It is not up to the standards of either GCT or NG. Read morePublished on March 28, 2011 by Laura R. Linder
What a fascinating video - so well-prepared and well-documented! An inviting look into building this American monument; the conflicts that nearly prevented it from being raised;... Read morePublished on September 12, 2009 by Susan Miller
I saw this video on TV several years back and have been dying to watch it again. Very informative and it has many old videos and pictures of Grand Central Station. Read morePublished on June 29, 2009 by J. Torres