The original plan for the future LIRR passenger concourse included the same Botticino marble you see throughout Grand Central Terminal (GCT), but before the design of the concourse was finalized the project management team took a closer look at the stone choices for the concourse and decided the new concourse should be a modern representation of Grand Central Terminal, rather than just an extension of it. After examining several different stones, it was decided “new white pearl” would be a terrific compliment to the Botticino style in GCT. The two marbles exhibit similar blotching and veining, and the new white pearl can even be considered a “modern Botticino.”
The Botticino marble throughout GCT was quarried in the Brescia Region of Italy, near Verona. The new white pearl marble currently being installed throughout the concourse was quarried in Beysehir, Turkey, where new white pearl marble is referred to as “vanilla ice.” After a few years of removing marble, the contractor switched to a quarry in Denizli, Turkey, where the new white pearl is referred to as “angel white.” There are many variations of the new white pearl marble at each quarry – the deeper and lower into the mountain, the purer the stone is. The new white pearl being used for the new LIRR passenger concourse at GCT is from deep in the mountains.
This marble isn’t mined – it’s cut from both sides of the mountain. Crews start at the top and core drill down to determine if they should quarry the marble below.
Once quality marble is discovered, a diamond wire is used to cut the marble out of the mountain – this process takes approximately eight hours, as the marble is pushed away from the mountainside; the crevice is filled in with boulders until an entire slab of marble is removed.
The marble slab is then cut into manageable piece and trucked to a fabrication plant, where it is cut into smaller slabs and finished.
East Side Access is one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects currently underway in the United States. It will provide new, direct LIRR service into a new concourse below Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan’s East Side, reducing commutes into Manhattan by up to 40 minutes. The project encompasses work in multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Queens and includes more than eight miles of tunneling.
East Side Access is an integral component of the broader LIRR system expansion initiative to help reduce passenger crowding, train congestion and automobile traffic, and to provide connections with additional regional transportation options such as Metro North Railroad and New York City Transit subways; East Side Access will also alleviate train and passenger congestion at New York Penn Station and its neighboring subway stations. Passengers traveling from Midtown East will enjoy easier access to JFK International Airport via the AirTrain at LIRR’s Jamaica Station.
When completed, East Side Access will serve approximately 162,000 customers a day, providing them with a faster and easier commute from Long Island and Queens to the east side of Manhattan in a new eight-track terminal and concourse below Grand Central Terminal. For more information, please visit the East Side Access project page on AModernLI.com.