Union Station Turns 70 - NBC Southern California

Union Station Turns 70



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    A train waits at Union Station, which turned 70 this month.

    The city associated with car culture and freeways is conducting an anniversary celebration for the hub of its trains and rail lines.

    May marks the 70th Anniversary of Union Station, a place that is traditional and timeless -- characteristics many people do not associate with the Los Angeles.

    "I think people who don't live in the area and don't have any history of Los Angeles, would be surprised, probably elated to see something like this," a man said Monday as he waited for a train.

    About 1.5 million people attended a three-day celebration of rail transportation when Union Station opened in May 1939. The Los Angeles Times published pictures of the opening in its May 4, 1939 edition.

    One picture included the following caption: "In harking back to the old days in transportation this horsecar was again made to roll. It is the No. 1 car of the line that went down Main St. to Agricultural Park."

    Another photo shows the historic C.P. Huntington as it rolls into Union Station as part of a parade.

    The station was declared an Historical-Cultural Monument in 1972. It was reinvented as a commuter rail hub with the Amtrak, Metrolink and Metro systems.

    "What a fantastic job everyone has done to get Union Station to where it is today," Councilman Jose Huizar said Monday at a news conference. "We are not only walking down history when we walk in there, but we are planning for the future."

    Events are planned for Union Station Saturday as part of National Train Day.