Union Station – The Hub of Transport

Jun 14, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Many times while traveling, your trip is made a bit longer and more difficult because you have to wait at a strange and distant airport, hotel, or new location.

Most of us, tired from our trips, still must wait for another ride, detour, or for a transfer to a new plane, train, or automobile; or even as basic as the need to just relax and let some time pass by to recharge our batteries, but only to compromise our self-dignity with discomfort, dismay, or even worse–at the very same surroundings that we’re subjected to during the diversion.

Union Station the Rolls Royce of Train Stations

Originally opened in May 1939, Union Station is now the central stop for Amtrak, along with three rail lines– the Red, Purple, and Gold, which will soon be opening an Eastward extension.

With about 400 train departures every 24 hours, thousands of people make their way through Union Station each day. Partially designed by the Parkinsons, Architecture Group, who also designed LA City Hall, Union Station passengers were greeted upon their arrival and departure via the gardens.

Also interesting to note, as Paisley commented on in Friday’s post, Los Angeles Historical Walks, Union Station has also been featured in several films and television programs; Blade Runner, Speed, Star Trek: First Contact, Pearl Harbor, The Italian Job, and the Fox television series 24.

Union Station “mixes two architectural styles, Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco. The floor plan is a cross, like in a cathedral. There is no echo inside the building – the walls are lined with cork.” Source: Union Station

Waiting Room

Its interior and exterior make plentiful use of travertine marble on both walls and floors, along with the serious yet colorful and playful use of terra cotta.

Union Station’s grand rooms have an air of coolness and style. Although Union Station had heavy traffic during World War II, its ridership dwindled until 1993, when the Metro’s Red and Purple lines were introduced to the historic complex.

Union Station was designed to be a place of relaxation in an otherwise hectic travel environment, symbolizing our fast paced lives, and its inexorable and inextricable connection.

Inside its iconic and transformational “Waiting Room,” travelers find food, comfy chairs, and a path leading to Union Station’s first garden.

A Shady Seat

And the second garden on the other side

Water Relaxation

What Train and Metro depot is complete without a Koi pond?

A Koi Pond

Or small details like a bud vase hanging from a tree

Hanging Bud Vase

After a little relaxation, it’s probably time to catch your next train so you won’t be late.


Enter Here

Next time you visit Los Angeles or when you take the Metro to Union Station, be sure to take a few minutes to relax and reflect in one of these beautiful spaces.

In this case, regardless of Travelin’ Local or afar, rest awaits you around the next bend.

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8 Responses to “Union Station – The Hub of Transport”

  1. David says:

    I’ve seen more than a few stories and photos about Union Station.

    Without a doubt, yours is the best b/c of how you’ve approached your topic with an open mind, camera aperture, and journalistic prose which takes your readers alongside you as an fellow-adventurer as opposed to us just reading another “news” story.

    I don’t know how you do it, or how you learned to do it–but keep it up; I’m Travelin’ Local through and by your stories, photos, and penetrating journalism.

    To top it off–I still get to visit all that you’ve documented.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, Thank you, David. I’m very happy you enjoy my journeys via Travelin’ Local.

    [Reply]

  2. Lance says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I love the photo with the high arched ceilings – it looks so majestic. And it really does look like a great place to explore!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Lance, And I just touched on the inside. I have to go back to do a more detailed look at the hallways, platforms, and magnificant art deco. If I had to stop over on a train, Union Station is a great place to wait.

    [Reply]

  3. Tess The Bold Life says:

    I love the photos, especially the bud vase and rose. I’ve never seen one on a tree. How creative.

    The fish look fat and happy.

    Union Station? I had no idea. I’m going to look for it in future movies.

    You are an expert as this travelin local stuff.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..100 Unmaterialistic Joys for A Bold Life

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Tess The Bold Life, I’m not an expert, but I do love what I do. When I walked outside and saw the bud vase, I couldn’t get the picture just right. The wind kept blowing it around. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Marc - WelshScribe says:

    A fantastic follow up post Lisa. I agree with David, I love the way you approach these posts with an adventurous, open mind.

    Marc – WelshScribe’s last blog post..SEO 101: An Overview

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Marc – WelshScribe, Thank you, Marc. I’m seeing everything with a fresh eye, but I’m happy you like the articles. :)

    [Reply]

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