After refusing to release renderings of the planned Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal for weeks, the MTA has quietly posted them on its website — and preservationists are breathing a sigh of relief over what they’ve seen so far.
The images show subdued signage and computer displays, certainly when compared to Apple’s other city stores.
“Considering the giant highly-lit glass cubes that are around town, this is pretty subtle for Apple,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, after viewing the images for the first time Monday. “I think it’s pretty unobtrusive.”
There had been concern among preservationists that the retail store, set to open this fall, might be gaudy and excessive, a throwback to the highly commercial period at Grand Central Terminal. amNewYork brought those worries to light in a cover story July 26, and The New York Times last week published an editorial chastising the MTA for not releasing the images.
The building, after all, should be the focal point, Breen said. “Under the circumstances, they’ve done pretty well,” she added.
The MTA’s finance board approved the deal to bring in the Apple store, along with more than $1 million in the first year of a 10-year lease. A new Shake Shack is also headed to the station’s food court by the fall.
The MTA briefly displayed the images at last month’s board meeting before the cash-strapped transit agency approved the contract for a new store, then declined to release them. Apple would not furnish the images or comment on them.
The MTA finally posted the pictures last week because the images were nearly impossible to make out from a website video of last month’s meeting, spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.
“It’s discreet. It’s tasteful, and it’s in the context of the fabulous space,” Anders said of the renderings.