We’re excited to share that the recent restoration of Union Station’s historic legionnaires makes this project the first of our ten Heineken Cities Project to be fully completed! This pilot restoration kicks off the restoration of all 46 legionnaires in the Great Hall. Years of dust and locomotive debris were peeled off the statues and the results are really amazing. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so check out these behind-the-scenes shots of the restoration process.
A little over five years ago, when an earthquake shook the Mid-Atlantic, several of Washington, D.C.'s most recognizable buildings, including the Washington Monument, the Washington National Cathedral, and Union Station were damaged. Each of these places have spent the last several years undergoing extensive repairs, and last night, the work on Union Station's Main Hall was celebrated.
Thanks to a partnership that included Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp., American Express, and the National Trust, the Main Hall has been restored to a look very similar to what visitor would have seen more than a hundred years ago.
"Enter through the front doors of the cavernous, Beaux-Arts-style rail station, look around, then straight up, and the view of the immense 'General Waiting Room,' as it used to be called, is now much like it was in 1907, when renowned architect Daniel Burnham completed a masterwork befitting a city of monuments." Paul Duggan, The Washington Post
The centerpiece of the restoration is the ceiling,where more than 120,000 sheets of gold leafing were used to return it to its original glory. The effect is breathtaking.
For the next month, visitors to Union Station can view an an exhibit of historic photographs, as well as one that uses augmented reality and physical props to illustrate seminal moments in Union Station's history.
Read the full story via the Washington Post: Union Station’s Main Hall has been restored to its century-old splendor
Excerpt from Elevation DC
Areas of the historic station typically closed to the public were opened up May 31 to a select group of Instagram users by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (which advertises with Elevation DC). The photographers got to go above the netting in the main hall to get up close and personal with the statues of the Roman legionaires that look down on commuters. They also checked out the Presidential reception room (which was most recently the restaurant B. Smith's) and a Pullman train car that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used until 1940.
I’m Rob Nieweg, director of the National Trust’s Washington Field Office. I’ve been traveling through Union Station for many years, and am happy to serve as the project manager for the National Trust’s advocacy to save the 1907 rail station.
I’ll be providing periodic updates here about our work at Union Station, which we’re pursuing in collaboration with the Union Station Preservation Coalition. The founders of the new preservation coalition include the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, Committee of 100 on the Federal City, DC Preservation League, and the National Trust.
The National Trust has collaborated with each of these well-established partner groups before, and now we’ve banded together to advocate for Union Station. We’re also consulting with the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, a nonprofit created in 1982 by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the steward of historic Union Station.
Today, the preservation coalition is seeking to better understand a number of independent proposals to expand and upgrade Union Station. The re-development of Union Station may offer key opportunities for restoration and preservation; at the same time, large-scale re-development poses a risk that the historic station may be overwhelmed by incompatible change.
Several ambitious plans are under development by a small set of parties, including Amtrak and others, largely behind closed doors. As the Washington Business Journal reported on June 13, 2012, Amtrak is “closely guarding” its plan to overhaul and transform Union Station. Amtrak may release its plan to the public later this summer.
All 4 updates
This Preservation Month, set aside time to celebrate and explore historic places in innovative ways. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!Get Started