Day: January 29th, 2007

Design in Grand Central

Monday, January 29th, 2007 | All Things, Events

The New York Transit Museum operates a gallery annex and store at Grand Central Terminal, just off the Main Concourse, in the Shuttle Passage next to the Station Master’s Office. Tonight, I was there for the opening reception of the new exhibit, Re:Design — New Visions for the Transit Museum Store at Grand Central.  On display through February 19 are eleven proposals to revitalize the Transit Museum’s store developed by graduate students in the Exhibition Design department of the Fashion Institute of Technology. The exhibit features the students’ visions, including new floor plans, models, revamped fixtures, storage concepts, displays, redesigned sales associate uniforms and new graphics identities. The proposals all had to work within the current footprint of the store, with a limited budget, and with little, or minimal alteration to the existing store’s ceiling and floor plans. The winning proposal, or selected aspects of various proposals, will be used by the Museum to refurbish the store.

New York Transit Museum

Transit Museum ReDesign

The store, which remained open for the reception, is chock full of items emblazoned with MTA logos, for proudly displaying your subway line or station pride. Also for sale are memorabilia and collectibles, such as old tokens, vintage enamel signs, and even parts of decommissioned trains, like the hinged, teardrop-shaped grab holds from the recently retired “Redbird” subway car fleet; the cars themselves are now serving as artificial ocean reefs in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey.

I vividly remember how excited I was the first time I was able to curl my fingers around those cold steel grab holds, toes barely touching the detritus-strewn floor, gazing out on the Midtown skyline through the grimy windows of the 7 Local. I’m almost tempted to buy a couple for myself — $20.00 apiece seems a small price to pay for a tangible piece of my childhood… though what ever would I do with them?

Transit Museum Mugs

Elsewhere in the station, Bravo’s latest reality show Top Design had taken over, installing several interior vignettes on Grand Central’s Shuttle platform — designed by and featuring lead judge Jonathan Adler‘s line of products.

I’ll probably watch, assuming that Frank Bruni won’t be covering this series, ruining the finale for me, as he did with Top Chef, less than ten hours after the show aired. Gah!

Top Design in Grand Central

Top Design Stairs

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