GRAND CENTRAL SCRUBBING
By CLEMENTE LISI
Grand Central Terminal is getting another face lift.
Five years after the cavernous rail station underwent a makeover, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has embarked on a $36 million project to clean and repair the station's facade, officials said.
The restoration includes cleaning and repairing the terminal's limestone exterior after an inspection last year revealed that the stone was dirty and falling apart in several places.
"We pledged to the world that the building's beauty and integrity would be preserved for generations to come," said MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow.
"We will continue to identify and seek funding for the needs of this landmark building in the next five year capital program beginning in 2005," Kalikow said.
The MTA erected scaffolding along the terminal's west exterior last month, and work there will be completed in 2005.
The MTA plans to set aside another $15 million to clean the terminal's east and south sides.
The station's north facade, which touches up against the MetLife Building, will not be cleaned.
The scrub-down is the second major restoration project at the 90-year-old Beaux Arts terminal over the last 10 years.
The station went through a $196 million makeover that was completed in 1998, bringing back to life a building that had turned into a hangout for drug dealers and the homeless.
The revitalized terminal currently houses restaurants, shops and a food market.
More than 150,000 Metro-North and subway riders stream through it each day.
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