Grand Central: Still a darling, if no longer incandescent
The incandescent bulb is gone from Grand Central Terminal.
Opened in 1913, the station was designed to show off how many bulbs it used — a point of pride when electricity was a novelty, but not the greatest attribute now that conservation is the goal.
So today, electricians for Metro-North Railroad replaced the last incandescent bulbs, 110 of them in a Beaux Arts “melon” chandelier, with a fluorescent ones. That makes more than 4,000 bulbs replaced with the energy-saving fluorescent versions.
Most of the bulbs were replaced a while ago. But the railroad had to search for a bulb that looked similar enough to the ones in the 10 chandeliers — five of them above the ramp leading to the Oyster Bar, and five above the north balcony. Each of the chandeliers is 11 feet wide and 18 feet tall, creating a melon shape.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority – parent agency to Metro-North – expects to save $200,000 a year in energy costs, while also seeing some savings in labor costs because the bulbs last 10 times longer than incandescent ones, cutting down on the number of bulbs that need to be replaced.
That doesn’t do much to alleviate the MTA’s budget deficit, which was projected at $1.2 billion, but now looks to be $621 million more than that.
Still, savings are savings. And going green is all the rage, regardless of cash savings. And the MTA hopes the transition will help earn LEEDS Silver status for the terminal by the U.S. Green Building Council