Glory of Commerce
What Big Feet You Have!
Coutan made a quarter-size clay model in France for this sculptural group, which was carved by William Bradley & Son of Long Island City. Using pneumatic chisels, they completed the work in 2 weeks. It’s an enormous piece: the clock is 13 feet in diameter, and Mercury is 28 feet high. This photo of a child in the Bradley studio gives a sense of scale.
Grand Central’s Architect Explains The Sculpture
Whitney Warren, one of the architects of Grand Central Terminal, explained the motive of its facade as
an attempt to offer a tribute to the glory of commerce ... as typified by Mercury, supported by moral and mental energy - Hercules and Minerva. All to attest that this great enterprise has grown and exists, not merely from the wealth expended, nor by the revenue derived, but by the brain and brawn constantly concentrated upon its development for nearly a century. --Whitney Warren in the New York Times, 2/2/1913
Railroads in New York and the Construction of Grand Central Terminal
The fascinating story of Grand Central Terminal and its predecessors is told in Kurt C. Schlichting’s Grand Central Terminal: Railroads, Engineering, and Architecture in New York City. Here’s Grand Central Terminal from the south, as it appeared before the construction of the Pan Am Building; the “air rights” buildings line Park Avenue in the background.
“Travel,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Read this aloud: you can feel the rhythm of the train.
Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante