Union Station is among the most visited tourist hubs in Washington, DC. Every year millions of people from different parts of the world visit the place. Constructed between 1907 and 1908, Union Station is Washington DC’s major railway station. It is served by Virginia Railway Express, MARC Train and Amtrak and is also home to a metro stop. The station is located in the south of the Northeast Corridor. As the rail line extends towards the north, it goes through major cities like Baltimore, New York and Boston.
The station in itself is an extravagant building, designed beautifully in the Beaux-Arts manner. The façade of the station includes the Arch of Constantine. The interior includes the Baths of Diocletian which is a prominent sitting. There are six magnificent colossal statues that stand in the attic block. Moreover, for the ceiling, architects have used expensive materials for decoration such as gold leaf, marbles, stone inscriptions etc. What’s amazing is that if you move five blocks away, you will be able to see the U.S. Capitol.
In addition to the above, the station offers a wide range of wonderful services to make customers happy. The Food Court is a large eating place, where you can dine alone or bring your whole family. It serves some very delicious meals and that too at very reasonable rates. Other than this, there are some other nice cafes and restaurants where one can chill out.
The station has a movie theater too. If nothing else, one can always come here and watch movies. It has also become one of the most visited shopping spots in the present day. A range of shops can be found in the mall that often attracts tourists. From accessories, to arts, toys and games, you name it and you can find it. Besides these, the station is also a frequent venue for many international cultural events and world class exhibitions.
Union Station between 1921 and 1922 Photo: National Photo Company Collection
In its earlier years, Union Station was a popular transportation center. With time, as air travel grew in use and popularity, the station saw a decline in the number of rail users. This eventually led to much deterioration of the building in the 1950s. However, it reopened in 1988 and a lot of renovation has been done since then. Today, the station is among the favorite tourist destinations in Washington, DC. If you ever plan coming here, make sure that you do not miss this one out.