Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Campbell Apartment, Grand Central Terminal, Manhattan, New York, New York
The Campbell Apartment, contrary to its name, was never an apartment, but was once the office of American financier John W. Campbell, who served on the New York Central's Board of Directors.
The 3,500 sq ft space was first leased in 1923 by John Campbell from William Kissam Vanderbilt II, whose family had built Grand Central Terminal. The space was a single room 60 feet long by 30 feet wide with a 25 ft ceiling and an enormous faux fireplace in which Campbell kept a steel safe. At that time, it was the largest ground floor space in Manhattan, Campbell commissioned Augustus N. Allen, an architect known for designing estates on Long Island and town houses in Manhattan, to build an opulent office, transforming the room into a 13th-century Florentine palace with a hand-painted plaster of paris ceiling and leaded windows. It also featured a quatrefoil designed mahogany balcony, that still exists today. One of the most striking features was a Persian carpet that took up the entire floor and was said to have cost $300,000 at the time, or roughly $3.5 million today.