Union Station through the ages

 

History

Washington, D.C.'s Union Station was built jointly by the Pennsylvania (PRR) and Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroads on an area of swampland near the U.S. Capitol Building. The station, designed by architect Daniel Burnham, opened with the arrival of a B&O Railroad passenger train from Pittsburgh on October 27, 1907. A magnificent gateway to our nation's capital, the station has served the needs of the traveling public continuously since that year. Besides the B&O and PRR, the station also served the Chesapeake & Ohio, Southern, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac (RF & P), Atlantic Coast Line, and Seaboard Railroads. During World War II as many as 200,000 passengers a day passed through the station. During the 1980's the station underwent a major renovation, costing over $160 Million Dollars. Completed in 1988, the effort restored the station's grandeur and remade it into a transportation, shopping, and dining megaplex.

When built, the station concourse one of the largest rooms in the United States and regularly used for Inaugural Balls.  Today, the station is still traditionally host to one of these prestigious Presidential events every four years on January 20.

Station interior photo courtesy of J. Lilly