May 5, 2009


One of LA's hidden gems is celebrating its 70th Anniversary this week. Dubbed "The Last of the Great Railway Stations", Union Station opened in 1939 on land that was then part of Chinatown. Appropriately enough, the first train out of the station was part of a promotion for the Paramount Studios film "Union Station". To many there's nothing hidden about Union Station as it now sees heavy use due to its inclusion in the routes of Metrolink trains, the Red and Purple subway lines and the light rail Gold line in addition to long distance Amtrak passenger service. One segment of the building is also now a permanent film location. The building was designed by the Parkinson brothers, who also designed LA's landmark City Hall building, and is a combination of Dutch Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne. Be sure not to miss the two garden patios on either side of the impressive waiting room. Union Station is a rare place in LA where past meets future and is every bit as alive as ever. If you've never been, take some time to wander through and enjoy it on its platinum anniversary.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Union Station is a gem indeed. We love the place and have visited it several times over the years. One time I actually arrived there from San Diego by train. I love trains and I love train stations.

Granted, Amtrak is a bit of a joke when it comes to modern train travels and I was spoiled with bullet trains, a very efficient train system and modern train stations while growing up in Europe. But from an architectural standpoint, an art-deco marvel such as L.A.'s Union Station can only be found in the States.