Union Station, Washington, D.C.
THE NEW UNION STATION AT WASHINGTON was built by the U.S. Government and the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The cost of the land, building and terminal improvements was $18,000,000. The structure is the finest railway station in the world. The building is of white granite, is 760 feet in length and 343 feet in width.
Washington Union Station is one of the country’s first great union railroad terminals. Designed by renowned architect, Daniel Burnham, the station opened on October 27, 1907 and was completed in April 1908.
Union Station, Washington DC
The first B&O train to arrive with passengers was the Pittsburgh Express, which did so at 6:50 a.m. on October 27, 1907, while the first PRR train arrived three weeks later on November 17. The main building itself was completed in 1908. Of its 32 station tracks, 20 enter from the northeast and terminate at the station’s headhouse. The remaining 12 tracks enter below ground level from the south via a 4,033-foot twin-tube tunnel passing under Capitol Hill and an 898-foot long subway under Massachusetts Avenue which allow through traffic direct access to the rail networks both north and south of the city. Among the new station’s unique features was an opulent “Presidential Suite” (aka “State Reception Suite”) where the U.S. President, State Department, and Congressional leaders could receive distinguished visitors arriving in Washington.
Union Station Waiting Room, Washington, D.C.
Published: The Washington New Company, Washington. D.C.
UNION STATION WAITING ROOM, Washington. The new Union Station was built by the U.S. Government and the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The cost of the land, building and terminal improvements was $18,000,000. The structure is the finest railway station in the world. The building is of white granite, is 760 feet in length and 343 feet in width.
Train Concourse, Union Station, Washington, D.C.
Text on back:
The Train Concourse of the Union Railway Station at Washington, D.C. is 760 feed in length. There is standing room for 50,000 people within its vast area. At one end is an entrance to the private waiting room for the President of the U.S. and the ambassadors of foreign countries.
Text and pictures below from <href=”https://archive.org/details/bookofroyalblue23balt/page/n123/mode/2up”>””Book of the Royal blue”, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 1897
The main building is six hundred and twenty feet long and from sixty-five to one hundred and twenty-five feet in height, and is constructed of white granite. The three main entrance arches from the street are fifty feet in height and thirty feet in width, and are larger in every way than their Roman prototypes.
These central doorways lead into a vaulted open-air vestibule extending across the entire front of the building, and from thence directly into the main waiting-room. At right angles on the east and west sides of the main building are end pavilions covered by two forty-foot arched carriage entrances, the one on the east leading to a suite of apartments for the use of the President of the United States and the nation’s honored guests, while the one on the west leads to a general carriage porch near the ticket and baggage lobby.
. . .The general waiting-room is one of the finest in the world. It is two hundred and twenty feet long, one hundred and thirty feet wide and covered by a Roman barrel vault, ninety feet high, decorated with sunken coffers or panels. The light during the day is transmitted through a semicircular window at the east end, seventy-five feet in diameter, and by five semi- circular windows, thirty feet in diameter, on the north side and three on the south side. In the ticket lobby the light is admitted through the roof. At night the light is obtained by electric reflection from powerful arc lights hidden in the upper alcoves over the vestibules on the north and south sides . . . At the east end of this immense hall are grouped the dining-room, lunch- room and women’s waiting-room. The main dining-room is decorated in rich colors and is handsomely furnished, having the appearance of belonging to a high-class modern hotel. The lunchroom has the usual counters, besides small tables. The service in both dining-room and lunchroom is excellent in every detail and moderate prices are charged for the choicest food.
The ladies’ retiring-room is in keeping with the rest of the building in magnificent but plain appointments.
At the west end and on opposite sides of a lobby fifty feet wide are the ticket offices and baggage-rooms. There are five large ticket windows and every provision is made to handle large crowds with the utmost dis- patch. Across from the ticket windows is the baggage checking room, enabling passengers to attend to their baggage with the least inconvenience. To the left of the entrance to the ticket lobby are the men’s toilet, barber shop, smoking-room and telephone and telegraph booths. To the right of the ticket lobby is the information bureau.
The great concourse or lobby exceeds anything ever built for a similar purpose. It is seven hundred and sixty feet long by one hundred and thirty feet wide and covered by an arched ceiling in a single span, decorated with panels, a part of which transmits the light. So large is the area of the concourse that it is said the entire standing army of the United States can be accommodated therein at one time. The concourse is separated from the umbrella sheds and tracks by an artistic iron fence with gates opposite each platform. These gates are supplied with automatic devices, showing the name of the railroad, number and name of the train, its time of departure and all the principal cities reached by it. It is worked by electricity, and is absolutely clear and understandable to a passenger and can be read many feet away.
The train yard opposite the concourse is seven hundred and sixty feet wide, corresponding with the length of the concourse. The tracks are covered by umbrella sheds and consequently there is never an accumulation of smoke, steam or gases to annoy the passengers.