THE REFURBISHMENT OF GRAND CENTRAL. Kids, in 1968, Grand Central was a beautiful space, but a rather grim place. The difference can be measured by today’s beautiful ceiling in the concourse, with the twinkling stars. In 1968, it was covered with grime, as were most other surfaces in the building. Further, sobriety was the tone for public spaces. Today’s food courts on the lower level were unthinkable then. (Sidewalk cafes met with a lot of disapproval, at the time, and there were very few of them) I remember that when I visited Faneuil Hall in Boston in 1978, I was startled by the life and activity of the marketplace. I had never imagined a public space being used by people in that way. (This wikipedia entry says: “Faneuil Hall is now part of a larger festival marketplace, Faneuil Hall Marketplace…. It was designed by Benjamin Thompson and Associates and managed by The Rouse Company; its success in the late 1970s led to the emergence of similar marketplaces in other U.S. cities.”) I have always given credit to The Rouse Company for changing our lives in this way.

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