Monday, May 4, 2009

70 Years for Union Station

One of the great train stations of the country turns 70 75 this month (and I wish I look this good if/when I reach that age). The Los Angeles Union Station, first built in May 1939, attains that pinnacle.

The rest of the article has been updated and moved to my current blog, found here.


  1. That is indeed a beautiful structure. I love old train stations, they seem to carry all the stories of their travelers within their walls - unlike airports which seem like waiting rooms for hell. Our beautiful old train station was allowed to go to rack and ruin and finally was razed some years back, to make way for one of the ugliest architectural designs ever:

    Columbus Convention CenterThis is all that remains of a once-beautiful station:

  2. That's all that remains of it? It must of been something special because that's a magnificent arch. Any old pictures of what it looked like in its time? I'm interested. I agree with you. Train stations (like grand hotels) seem to hold on their beauty (even through their neglect) while airports (for the most part) seem like glorified bus stops.

  3. There are some old postcards with idealized drawings, not much in the way of photos, none I could find of the interior. The station was designed in the Beaux Arts style by Daniel Burnham, he of the Chicago Exposition fame (and he's one of the highlights in that book, 'Devil in the White City,' that I read earlier this year.) I can remember going into the station when I was maybe 9-10 years old, just to see what it was like, but few passenger trains were running then and the place was tomb-like. I remember rows and rows of long wooden pews, all but empty, but nothing else. You're really lucky to have your beautiful station intact. It's magnificent on the inside. I clicked on the link and I was so surprised by the exterior. It looks so sedate and church-like, it belies the interior. I like the clock tower, you don't see those being created anymore.