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Stroll through the Grand Central Terminal any afternoon and you’ll see impatient commuters eager to get home from work pushing past gape-mouthed tourists gazing up at the beautiful, star-dotted ceiling of the Main Concourse.
The Concourse, restored and renovated between 1996 and 1998, is probably one of the city’s most visited places, included on walking tour itineraries because of its spectacular representation of the Beaux Arts style.
In addition to the stunning ceiling, there’s the four-sided opal-inlaid clock estimated to be worth $10-$20 million dollars that sits atop the information booth in the center of the Concourse, serving as a popular meet-up spot, and 10 gold chandeliers that light the Concourse. They’re 96 years old.
This week, the chandeliers were lowered to the floor so workers could replace the 110 bulbs that keep each chandelier blazingly bright with the compact flourescent bulbs considered to be environmentally friendly.
In addition to being better for the environment, the bulb-work came as the city continued looking for ways to trim its budget. Though the bulbs for each chandelier cost $1,100, the projected cost savings per year will be $200,000.
Read the full story about the greening of Grand Central’s chandeliers here.