The Vanderbilts did not have a family crest, but liked the idea of how a mighty spreading oak tree grows from a humble acorn. See the photo at left of the acorns and oak leaves that adorn the corners of each ticket window in bronze.
I could go on and on, but really, if you have the time, you should take the tour to fully appreciate the history, restoration, and majesty of Grand Central.
I do want to share three of my favorite finds of Grand Central Terminal:
The first is The Campbell Apartment, which was once the residence of John Campbell. It has been restored to how it looked as a residence with painted wooden beams, stained glass windows, marble floors and a working fireplace; but it now operates as a bar (as you exit Grand Central from the top of the east staircase, turn left and again left up the stairs). They have a gynormous house drink (I forget the name, but it packs a punch and is delicious).
The second is what I consider the best shoe and handbag repair shop, Leather Spa, in the City (if not the country). The highest end shoe shops and designers send their customers and products to them for fantastic leather and fabric dying work (I sent my Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes here to dye them to a more practical black after my wedding). Their main shop is on 55th Street, but you can drop off and pick up conveniently here at the lower level food court area of Grand Central. This could be a real time saver, for all those Metro North commuters.
The third is the fantastic chandelier sculpture called Sirshasana (1998) by Donald Lipski hanging from the ceiling of the entryway of the Grand Central Market (on the Lexington Street side, see photo at right). It is an absolutely spectacular art piece shaped like an upside down golden olive tree (symbolizing freedom and purity) with 5,000 crystal pendants in lieu of olives. When the sunlight hits the crystals, it is breathtaking.
I have a new respect and admiration for Grand Central Terminal, and if you have the chance to take the audio tour, I highly recommend you do it.