March 29, 2023

The largest passenger rail terminal in the U.S. in decades has just opened in New York’s Grand Central Station, but it has one small problem that not even the MTA attempted to brush off. When asked about the mistake – a typo of a famed artist’s name etched into the walls – the MTA told CBS News in an email, “we clearly f-ed this one up.” 

The typo can be seen etched into the stone lining the new Long Island Rail Road terminal of Grand Central Madison, which opened service for the first time last week. A video taken by Bloomberg shows that underneath the 1928 quote, “One can’t paint New York as it is but rather as it is felt,” the name of the person who said it, famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe, is misspelled. Rather than two f’s in her name, there is only one. 

When CBS News asked the MTA about the typo, MTA spokesperson Tim Minton simply said in an email, “We clearly F-ed this one up and it’s being fixed.”

O’Keeffe has been renowned for her modern art, and was known by the mid-1920s as “one of America’s most important and successful artists,” according to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. In addition to her famous large paintings of flowers, some of her notable paintings were those of New York City’s skyscrapers. 

According to the Art Institute of Chicago, O’Keeffe said what is quoted in the terminal after she painted a cityscape of the Shelton Hotel in 1924. At the time of the painting, the hotel on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan was the tallest in the world. The artist died in 1986 at age 98. 

The new 700,000-square-foot terminal has been a major investment by the city. According to the MTA, it’s part of the $11.1 billion project that connects the Long Island Rail Road to the east side of Manhattan and is the largest expansion of LIRR service in 112 years. The new terminal is also the largest passenger rail terminal in the U.S. since the 1950s, the MTA said. 

Service at the station, which sits just below Grand Central Terminal, officially kicked off on Jan. 26. With it, the LIRR will have 274 more trains every weekday, the MTA said, as roughly 45% of railroad commuters are expected to use the station. 

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