Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been both shooting and collecting photos of Los Angeles Union Station, the best of which I’ve put in the above slideshow; click on the first image to begin the slideshow. You can also watch the slideshow on The Source’s Flickr page or as a video on YouTube.
For those interested in the old ticket room and Harvey House, there are a bunch of photos about halfway through the slideshow. After years of looking through Harvey House through the windows, I finally had a chance to go inside. It’s spectacular.
Some quick background: Metro purchased Union Station for roughly $70 million from Catellus in 2011. The purchase gave Metro direct control over Southern California’s largest rail and bus hub, including development rights on 40 acres of land. Buying Union Station also prevented the facility from being tied up in a real estate trust that would have kept a very public space in private hands well into the future.
In 2012, Metro hired Gruen Associates in association with Grimshaw Architects of London to develop a master plan for the facility. In March, both a Metro staff report and PowerPoint were released that explained the early findings of the Master Plan process: making Union Station work as a transit hub will be the top priority. I tried to take some of the photos to reflect issues raised thus far by the Master Plan team.
The Master Plan process is important considering the Metro Rail system will be growing in the next three decades because of funding supplied by the Measure R sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. The California high-speed rail project is slated to arrive at Union Station when funding for that segment is secured. Bottom line: an already busy facility is going to be a lot busier. Here’s the Master Plan home page on metro.net.