If you’ve ever been to Grand Central Terminal in NYC or Union Station in Washington DC, you’ll see that they’re not just homogeneous train stations but a dynamic destination filled with a wide range of shops and restaurants that attract both locals and tourists. (Have you experienced the beautiful Apple flagship store inside Grand Central Terminal before?) In fact, both stations are considered top tourist destinations in their respective cities. Over here in LA, it’s good to see that we’re finally starting to add businesses into our beautiful Union Station, which has been improving and becoming better and better almost every year.
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.