Book Prompts Tour of Grand Central Terminal

Led by History teacher and licensed NYC tour guide Mr. Michael Roper, 6th grade students explored the highlights of Grand Central Terminal on Friday afternoon, October 19.

English teacher Ms. Lisa Smith organized the field trip for her 6th graders, who had read Katherine Marsh’s The Night Tourist. The novel, containing elements of Greek myths and the ancient Underworld, is set in the fictional “New York Underworld” situated under Grand Central Terminal. A visit to the actual National Historic Landmark was a natural enhancement to this unit.

The tour began in the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal at the brass clock. The group learned about the building’s history and admired the vast ceiling mural depicting the constellations. Students then ventured off to areas such as the Whispering Gallery, where the low arches magnify the sound of voices at opposite corners, and the outside of the building, where a statue of Hermes, the messenger of the gods and the god of safe travels, stands atop the façade, along with Hercules and Athena.

The visit to the world’s largest train terminal was educational and exciting. It allowed students to make a dynamic connection between The Night Tourist’s setting and one of New York’s greatest architectural jewels.