The U.S. Postal Service commemorated the 100th anniversary of a New York City landmark by dedicating the Grand Central Terminal Express Mail stamp in the Main Concourse, under the constellation ceiling.
Available nationwide today, customers may purchase the new $19.95 stamp at usps.com/stamps, by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or at a local Post Office. The stamp is good for mailing Express Mail Flat Rate Envelopes, Express Mail Padded Flat Envelopes and Express Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelopes.
“This beautiful stamp captures both the universal appeal and excitement of travel, and the architectural grandeur that is uniquely New York,” said U.S. Postal Service Northeast Area Vice President Richard P. Uluski while dedicating the stamp. “We issue the stamp today on the 100-year anniversary of the official opening of Grand Central Terminal when it began its reign as one of the most majestic public spaces in the world.”
The stamp captures the grandeur of the terminal’s architecture with an illustration of the Main Concourse. Early morning sunlight streams through the 60-foot-tall windows, illuminating the people below. In the foreground, travelers gather near the terminal’s round information booth topped with its four-sided clock. The edges of the terminal’s famous sky ceiling can be seen at the top of the stamp art, its background decorated with a mural of constellations and figures of the Zodiac.
World’s Largest Railway Terminal
Grand Central Terminal officially opened Feb. 2, 1913, and was soon recognized and hailed as the largest and greatest railway terminal in the world. The terminal encompasses nearly 48 acres on two levels (two and a half times the size of New York’s Pennsylvania Station) and has 42 passenger platform tracks, twice as many as Penn Station’s 21 platform tracks and more than twice as many as the 19 at Boston’s South Station and the 16 at St. Louis’ Union Station.
Within the terminal building, separate concourses were provided for incoming and outgoing long-distance trains and suburban trains to avoid friction between opposing flows of passengers, who reached the different levels of the underground terminal using ramps. The station has been able to efficiently handle enormous growth over the years with virtually no major structural changes.
Grand Central Terminal played a pivotal role during the heyday of rail travel, serving both New York’s suburban trains and long-distance trains like the 20th Century Limited, a favorite of celebrities and movie stars. But by the 1950s, rail travel was declining. New York’s other great train station, Penn Station, fell to the wrecking ball in 1963. The event galvanized those who wanted to save Grand Central from a similar fate, including prominent New Yorkers such as Jacqueline Kennedy.
Although the terminal was eventually spared, in the years that followed, billboards, decades of grime and a leaking roof marred its beauty. Grand Central was rescued a second time with a series of renovations, culminating in a rededication celebration Oct. 1, 1998.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724). They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Grand Central Terminal Station
380 W 33rd Street Room 4032
New York NY 10199-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by April 1, 2013.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
— 116010, Keepsake (Pane & Digital Color Postmark Set), $220.95.
— 116016, First-Day Cover, $20.39.
— 116021, Digital Color Postmark, $21.10.
— 116031, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
Customers may view the Grand Central Terminal Express Mail stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office(TM) Boxes. The Postal Service(TM) receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
SOURCE U.S. Postal Service