Union Station (Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Larry Underhill

Union Station (Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal)

The culmination of over two decades of planning, Union Station embodies the excitement, promise, and wide-open spaces of Southern California in the early and mid-twentieth century.

The grand opening of the John and Donald Parkinson-designed train station was celebrated with a three-day extravaganza attended by nearly half a million people. The station's monumental architecture, a unique combination of Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles, assured that it would be one of the most identifiable landmarks in the city. Completed in 1939 as train travel began to be surpassed by other modes of transportation, Union Station was the last grand railroad station built in America.

The vast and extraordinary spaces now serve as station to the city's Metro Rail lines, and once again tens of thousands of people course through the building every day. In the mid-1990s, an intermodal transit center and twenty-eight-story office tower was added on the east side of Union Station. These additions draw on the 1939 station for inspiration, interpreting the vast spaces and southwestern colors in a new way, and incorporating the work of many different artists as part of the public spaces.

Union Station's gardens and patios welcomed travelers to the sunny and mild climate of Los Angeles while the building’s blend of the Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival and Moderne styles reflect popular architectural design in Southern California at the time. 

Union Station was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) #101 in 1972 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. In 1992 Union Station underwent a major restoration effort.

Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy


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