Monday, April 24, 2017
Washington Union Station
Passenger train travel works really well from New York to Washington DC. All in from check in to walking into the city center, train travel is generally faster than flying along the east coast corridor - and cheaper - and more comfortable. DC and Philadelphia are fortunate to have their classic passenger train stations. Penn Station in New York, is a 60's vintage disaster. Grand Central Station in New York is spectacular, but it is all local commuter rail, Amtrak uses Penn Station and it is a nasty mess. I have not been in Philly for a few years, I do hope that the city is working on restoring the station there, it is a great classic.
Washington Union Station was likely saved from the wrecking ball by being redone as a visitors center for the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. That remodel also added to the station a Metro Rail Subway station, it is one of the busiest stations in the Metro system.
In the Mid 70's remodel the main hall had a two story restaurant plunked down in the middle of it, and four large fountain / planters placed around the floor. The ceiling was damaged a few years ago in an earthquake, and had been under restoration for the past 2- years. I was in the Station for lunch recently and was amazed, the ceiling restoration is finished, the restaurant and planters have been removed. The room has been restored to it's original glory. It is spectacular.
What is your favorite public space in your town?