The Washington Union Station Centennial
Washington Travel Blog› entry 23 of 66 › view all entries
Washingon, DC's Union Station celebrated its centennial this weekend. The landmark building designed by architect Daniel Burnham continues to serve as transportation hub and gateway to the nation's capital. I've taken trains from the station many times, to New York, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, and elsewhere. On Saturday, I went to have a look at the festivities and exhibits. I drove (even though that was perhaps not in keeping with the spirit of the event) into town along I-395 and the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, exiting at Massachusetts Avenue. Ample parking was available in the station's parking garage added in 1988.
Not only was the 1908 completion of the terminal cause for celebration, this month also marks the 20th anniversary of the restoration of Union Station.
Amtrak was showing its various present-day services ranging from the Acela Express high speed trains used on the Northeast Corridor to business class service to long-distance sleeping and dining car accommodations. An Amtrak chef was very proud to show off the new regional menu selections Amtrak has just introduced on the very long-distance continental trains. There were also two model railway layouts and various vendor and informational exhibit tables. (I picked up a sheet of souvenir postage stamps.) I was a little disappointed that there were no exhibits or interpretative displays about the station itself and its design and history. That was, after all, what was being celebrated!