This eagle, like the one at the Philipse Manor train station, is from Grand Central Depot. It is above the entrance to Grand Central Terminal at the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and 42nd Street. I quickly snapped this picture right before I crossed the street to catch my train home one evening.
Unlike the eagle at Philipse Manor, where anyone can walk up to it, this eagle is inaccessible to people, being along the elevated Park Avenue that splits and goes around Grand Central.
There’s an eagle at the Philips Manor train station.
Not a real one, just a statue. I took some pictures of it. It reminded me of the eagle at Grand Central, which I thought was one of the eagles rescued from the destroyed Penn Station in 1969 and moved there. However, it turns out that this eagle, which stares straight ahead with its wings outstretched, is related to that eagle, which is looking over its shoulder. Both these eagles are from the old Grand Central Depot, which was torn down in 1910 to build the current Grand Central Terminal.
There were a lot of these eagles, 12 are known but no one is sure how many there really were that adorned the old depot. Like a dandelion gone to seed, the old depot gave up its eagles before disappearing. These eagles have been scattered all over the metropolitan area, turning up in backyards and adorning small towns and villages. And, typically, after decades and public forgetfulness, that which is lost is rediscovered and a feeling of nostalgia sweeps over everyone. Soon there’s a movement to restore that which was lost or, at least in this case, two eagles returned to adorn the current Grand Central Terminal.
While I catch the train, it stands there, staring out over the train tracks. Is it guarding the station, or staring off into the past?
“Eagles on the roof. Grand Central Terminal. Part 3,” Big Apple Secrets, June 23, 2013.
“Rare Avis: an Iron Eagle Returning to City Roost,” The New York Times, June 20, 1997.