If you haven’t been to Union Station lately, you’re totally missing out! The grandest rail station on the west coast just got so much grander. The 76 year old Spanish Revival/Art Deco masterpiece recently underwent a much needed extensive restoration and upgrade as part of Union Station’s short and long-term master plan (that you can read all about on Metro’s official blog The Source). The short-term changes are pretty much completed now, which included not only restoring the station’s amazing architectural features — like the dozen magnificent 3000-pound bronze chandeliers that hang in the main waiting room and grand ticket concourse — but also upgrades like new beautiful signage and wayfinding signs, digital information screens that dramatically improve the transit users’ experience, and even bringing back an old fashioned shoe shine stand. And for Amtrak lovers, a new metropolitan lounge was introduced in late 2013 you have to check out.
In addition, more exciting improvements come in the form of new food concessions like the beautiful new Barista Society coffee bar that brings third wave Blue Bottle and Stumptown coffee to the east wing of the station while a still newish T&Y Bakery (from 3rd/Fairfax Farmers Market) offers fresh yummy pastries located in the historic west wing.
One thing I really hope we can open in Union Station in the future is an official Metro store that sells Metro-branded merchandise, which I think would be popular not only with visitors and tourists, but also Angelenos who are proud of the new urbanizing LA with its growing transportation system. In fact, why not have Union Station-branded products as well?
Without further ado, check out my pictures below for a tour of the beautifully restored Union Station in Downtown LA.