May 3, 2014: Union Station 75th Anniversary

Union Station
Union Station | Photo courtesy of C. Strife, Flickr

Widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations,” Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. Located in Downtown L.A., the historic station was designed in a unique blend of Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival and Art Deco styles by the renowned father-son architect team of John and Donald Parkinson. The facility was completed at a cost of $11 million and opened on May 3, 1939 with a lavish, star-studded, three-day celebration attended by a half million Angelenos. Today, Union Station is a major transportation hub for Southern California, providing 60,000 passengers a day access to Amtrak long distance trains, Amtrak California regional trains, Metrolink commuter trains, and several Metro Rail subway and light rail lines. Union Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 1980.

On Saturday, May 3, Metro - in partnership with National Train Day, Amtrak and Metrolink - is celebrating Union Station’s 75th anniversary with a family-friendly day of activities, entertainment and exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a rededication of the station in the historic ticket concourse area.

Amtrak Exhibits & Model Train Displays

Go behind the scenes of the passenger railroad for National Train Day. See contemporary Amtrak rail cars, historic cars, learn how trains work, and tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train. Also see N-scale model trains in action as Orange County N'gineers showcase their elaborate miniature railroads.

Chuggington™ Kids Depot

Brewster, Wilson and Koko | Image courtesy of Chuggington™, Facebook

Enjoy free kid-friendly activities with Chuggington™, the hit preschool television series that follows the adventures of three young trainees as they learn to ride the rails.

Self-Guided Architectural Tours

Talk with Metro Art docents throughout the station to learn more about Union Station’s architecture, embellishments and artworks. Docents will be posted at the Old Ticket concourse, Waiting Room, Fred Harvey Room and Union Station East.

Entertainment

Photo courtesy of the Jennifer Keith Quintet, Facebook

During the 75th anniversary celebration, the whole family can enjoy a wide range of music throughout Union Station. More than a dozen acts are scheduled to perform, including: mariachi, R&B and DJ Rani de Leon on the Main Stage; WWII-era swing, Afro-Cuban, and Choo Choo Bob on the South Patio; East Wind Lion Dance Troupe and classic a capella in the East Portal; and classic Americana by Jennifer Keith Quintet in the Fred Harvey Room.

C.I.C.L.E. Street Mural Bike Ride

Photo courtesy of C.I.C.L.E., Facebook

Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.), in collaboration with the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, will lead a community bicycle ride that loops through neighboring artist communities. Meet at 11 a.m. at Union Station. The Street Mural Bike Ride begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. NOTE: the RSVP list for the ride is now closed.

Free Rides to Glendale

Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Station | Photo courtesy of kla4067, Flickr

Visit the historic Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Station on Metrolink and Amtrak trains, departing Union Station at 11 a.m., noon, 12:10 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. From Glendale Station, enjoy free rides on the Glendale Beeline bus into downtown Glendale, which features more than 100 restaurants. Trains will return from Glendale Station to Union Station at 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Explore Downtown L.A.

Little Tokyo | Photo courtesy of R.E.~, Flickr

With Union Station as your jumping-off point, you can explore Downtown L.A. and enjoy fun-filled activities and discounts at various locations that are easily reached without driving. Highlights include Cinco de Mayo at nearby Olvera Street; dining and shopping in Chinatown; the Taste of Little Tokyo; theatre, food and drink near Grand Park; and the No Further West exhibit and neighborhood discounts at the Central Library.