Saving America's Historic Sites
A Beaux Arts icon designed by renowned architect Daniel Burnham, Union Station is many things to the 100,000 people who use it daily. First and foremost, the station is a busy transit hub serving fourteen types of transportation, from passenger trains and inter-city buses, to bike sharing services and DC’s subway system. Just two blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Union Station is also one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations and a vital community anchor.
Today, ambitious plans are in the works to transform Union Station: the rail concourse will be dramatically expanded in anticipation of significant increases in ridership; the station's 214,000-square-foot shopping mall will be upgraded; and a huge mixed-use development over the station's rail yard is in the planning stages.
In the past, incompatible changes and avoidable neglect have harmed Union Station. However, if ongoing expansion and modernization are handled well – and historic preservation becomes a top priority for planners – future development will complement the landmark while preserving its integrity for future generations. With careful planning, Union Station can become an international model for historic preservation, multi-modal transportation, and transit-oriented development.
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