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Review of A Grand Idea

How William J. Wilgus Created Grand Central Terminal



cover of A Grand Idea children's book about how William J. Wilgus created Grand central terminal designed by William Wilgus in new york city by Megan Hoyt

Quill Tree Books

(Harper Collins)


48 pages

Ages 4-8

Author: Megan Hoyt

   Illustrator: Dave Szalay

Character: William J. Wilgus


" There was once a place in New York City that had a tennis club, movie theater, and art gallery—all in the same building! It also had a secret passageway, a huge library, and even a ski slope.

This astounding building is Grand Central Terminal, and it was the work of one brilliant man: William J. Wilgus. When William, an experienced engineer, wanted to create a new electric-powered train system, he knew he needed to house this special fleet somewhere exceptional. His grand idea of a solution? An underground multilevel train station that would become an iconic New York landmark, and one that is still an integral part of the city over a century later."

Tantalizing taste:

"Finally, they came up with a solid plan.

Grand Central Terminal's main concourse would be 275 feet long and 120 feet

wide, with a ceiling towering 125 feet at its tallest point. The biggest cluster

of sculptures ever built would adorn its magnificent exterior."

And beneath it would run two levels of shiny new electric trains on sixty-seven steel tracks.

No more smoke.

No more sparks.

No more accidents."

And something more: At the back of the book, More About William J. Wilgus and Grand Central Terminal states: "... Grand Central Terminal opened right on time, at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, February 2, 1913. It has been running ever since - closing only for a few brief power outages and railway strikes. William J. Wilgus was awarded many honors for his work and even received honorary doctorate degrees from two different universities. For a man who barely finished high school, his accomplishments, like his Grand Central Terminal, were magnificent."


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