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2014 White House Ornament

Union Station in Washington DC

Opened on October 27, 1907 and completed in 1908, Union Station is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. Architect, Daniel Burnham designed the building to be monumental in every respect and to serve as a gateway for the capital city.

At the time it was built, the Station covered more ground than any other building in the United States and was the largest train station in the world. The Station sits on the edge of an area once known as "Swam poodle," an infamous shantytown located on the sewer-y remnants of Tiber Creek. The total area occupied by the Station and the terminal zone was originally about 200 acres and included 75 miles of tracks. In fact, if put on its side, the Washington Monument could lie within the confines of the Station's concourse.

Union Station brought to the nation's capital a new grandeur that echoed the Chicago World's Fair and began Washington's monumental transformation. Seventy pounds of 22-karat gold leaf adorned the 96-foot barrel-vaulted, coffered ceilings. The white granite and classic lines of Union Station set the stage for the next 40 years of Washington's classic architecture - reflected in the construction of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and the Supreme Court building. The cost was monumental as well - $125 million for the Station and its approaches.

In many ways, Union Station was a city within a city. At various times it employed a staff of over 5,000 people and provided such amenities as a bowling alley, mortuary, baker, butcher, YMCA, hotel, ice house, liquor store, Turkish baths, first-class restaurant, nursery, police station, and a silver-monogramming shop.

As train travel was the mode of transportation for even U.S. Presidents in the early 1900s, a Presidential Suite was added to Union Station (now B. Smith's Restaurant). In 1909, President Taft was the first President to use the room and over the years many dignitaries were officially welcomed here, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, King Albert I of Belgium, King Prajadhipok of Siam, Queen Marie of Romania, and King Haasan II of Morocco.

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Amtrak's Acela Express train at Union Station, Washington, DC

Acela Express (often called simply Acela) is Amtrak's rail service that uses high-speed tilting trains. Acela operates along the Northeast Corridor (NEC)in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and...

5129 views

Passenger's checking bags at Union Station in Washington, DC

These passengers wait to check bags in order to board Amtrak's Acela Express to New York City. Once checked, these passengers have a quick ride to Manhattan; only three hours and eight minutes, and none of the difficulties associated with the New Jersey...

2089 views

Signs leading the way to the Amtrak Police Department in DC

The Amtrak Police is a railroad police agency that acts as the security and law enforcement agency of Amtrak, a passenger train system in the United States of America.
The Amtrak Police force has 343 sworn police officers, most of whom are...

4098 views

Peering into the food court in DC's Union Station *

With over a hundred different places to eat, drink, and shop, Union Station (located at 50 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, DC) has become a destination all unto itself. With local restaurants as well as national franchises, Union Station has...

2365 views

Area formerly known as "The Pit" in Union Station

The area sarcastically called "The Pit" (it was originally called PAVE, or "Primary Audio Visual Experience") is now where the main food court is located in Union Station located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE in Washington, D.C.

1707 views

What's the difference between gelato and ice cream you ask??

Where ice cream legally has a minimum of 10 percent fat, gelato is made with a greater proportion of whole milk to cream, so it contains more like five to seven percent fat. Don't expect to be able to get Italian gelato results by making a gelato recipe...

1588 views

A woman's second-best friend: chocolate

Rumored for centuries to have aprhrodisical qualities, chocolate is the food of kings and queens, however, don't be fooled into believing white chocolate even exists as it is in fact an oxymoron: there is no cocoa in "white chocolate" and in this...

1454 views

Union Station's gold-gilded main foyer, Washington, DC

Apparently, some seventy-pounds of 22-karat gold leaf adorns the barrel-vaulted ceiling 96 feet above the floor at Union Station. Being as gold leaf expands to 20,000 times it's original size when hammered out (or machined) this figure may be on the...

2240 views

Welcome to Union Station in the Nation's Capital!

This friendly Asian couple runs and owns RDZ Miniature Buildings as one of the shops located within the walls of Union Station in Washington, D.C. Estimates are as high as 32 million visitors a year; almost 96,000 a day.

1515 views

Gold-gilded eagle out Union Station in DC

A large gold-gilded eagle perched atop a pillar stands watch outside of Union Station located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE in Washington, D.C. Union Station was first opened in 1908 as the (then) largest train station in the world.

1781 views

Black eyed Susans outside Union Station in NE DC

Although the Black eyed Susan is the official flower of Maryland, she is not very out of bounds in Washington, D.C. ... in fact, she is quite in-bounds, as it were, as Maryland extends north, south, east and west of Washington, D.C., in fact.

1693 views

DC does not wont for attractive people

As perhaps this woman can attest to, then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Herein lies the beauty (pardon the expression)of the DC Metro area: it is the penultimate proverbial melting pot (behind only Manhattan)and there is something here...

1543 views

Main facade: Union Station in DC

The main facade on Union Station in Washington, DC consists primarily of the Arch of Constantine which is a triumphal arch in Rome situated between the Colosseum and the Patatine Hill. Union Station was designed by architect Daniel Burnham with...

1652 views

Roman cathedral or train station?

Although this photograph may initially be mistaken for the interior of a church or cathedral with it's allegorical statues standing high above the floor of the "main waiting area." Washington, DC

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Dusk at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

A warm orange glow appears as though it is being emitted from the top of Union Station in Northeast Washington, D.C.
Along with it being the "Gateway to the U.S. Capitol" it also serves as a tourist destination which attracts 90,000 visitors per day.

1348 views
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