Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Train station memories

When you head out on a trip like our 3-weeker across the country, you have no idea what you're going to see and what's going to strike you as memorable. One thing that surprised me was the absolute elegance of some of the old train stations that we saw as we went along. We also saw a few that were plain and serviceable. One, the Salt Lake City train station, was a complete disgrace to the city so there will be no pictures of that here! But many were so beautiful that I found myself snapping picture after picture of the details.

Below are some of my favorites.

Above left: The Huz and his sister brazenly defying the "No Loitering" sign at our starting point, the train station in New London, Connecticut. Right: an unusual bay window at the station, and a view past the train tracks to the ocean just beneath it.

As noted in a previous post, Seattle's King Street Station (above) is absolutely stunning inside. It is being restored to its 1906 glory, full of marble and ornamentation. The architects were part of the team that designed Grand Central station, a gorgeous building if ever there was one, but this one is a small-scale rival.

The photos above show restored sections. Below is a shot of the beautiful ceiling that's been hidden for years behind an ugly drop ceiling. Restoration work started in 2003 and continues today. It will be quite a sight when it's all finished!
I took some very fun shots of Denver's Union Station, but do you think I can find them? The two highlights of the station for me (besides the absolutely crack-up train station attendant who complained that I was keeping him awake when I "hallo"ed to get him to come to the window) were the fabulous tall-backed benches with built-in reading lights running the length over your head (see a picture here), and a retro sign on the outside of the station that urged, "Travel by Train". You can see a picture of it here.

Update! Found my photos! A couple of shots of the gorgeous exterior, one of the Huz lingering anonymously on those fabulous benches, and a beautiful hallway that you walk through from the train into the station proper.

And, of course, there's Chicago's Union Station, the granddaddy of all train stations west of New York.
The beauty of this station just cannot be overstated, although there's a tacky new section that's not so cool. But you can get any kind of food you want here, there's a whole section that's like a shopping mall, and just look at this staircase (below left) and great hall (below right). Fabulous.
180px-Chicago_Union_Station_grand_staircase 180px-Union22


Barbara said...

Great pictures of the train stations.

ARS (Architectural Refinishing Services) said...
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