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.