Northeast in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Delaware Avenue & Columbus Circle, NE
—UNION STATION – Architecture by Daniel Burnham 1908 —
With the growth of air travel, the station fell increasingly into disuse. A mid-1970’s attempt to revitalize it as a “National Visitor Center” failed. The building was closed in 1981. Later that year the Congress enacted the Union Station Redevelopment Act, and the 1985 - 1988 renovation project restored the building’s grandeur. Today, in addition to serving Amtrak, MARC and Metrorail travellers, the station houses over a hundred shops and restaurants and hosts exhibitions and international cultural events.
In front of the entrance to the station stands a 45-foot-tall marble fountain monument to Christopher
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad marker series.
Location. 38° 53.746′ N, 77° 0.407′ W. Marker is in Northeast, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Columbus Circle near Delaware Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington DC 20002, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Christopher Columbus (within shouting distance of this marker); “The President’s Trees” (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Freedom Bell (about 300 feet away); "All Aboard" (about 700 feet away); Gateway to The Nation's Capital (about 700 feet away); Famine-Genocide in Ukraine (approx. 0.2 miles away); Swampoodle Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Northeast.
Regarding Delaware Avenue & Columbus Circle, NE.
1. Books about Union Station include;
Highsmith, Carol M. and Landphair, Ted (1988) Union Station A Decorative History of Washington's Grand Terminal. (Chelsea Publishing, Washington)
Highsmith, Carol M. and Landphair, Ted (1998) Union Station A History of Washington's Grand Terminal (Union Station Venture, Washington)
2. Additional background
Washington's Union Station replaced two railroad terminals that had been built in the District of Columbia. One was Sixth Street Station, which was operated by the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad (a predecessor of the Pennsylvania Railroad). The other was New Jersey Avenue Station, which was operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
There were several reasons to build this grand structure.
Washington's Union Station was for a time owned and operated by a corporation called The Washington Terminal Company. This corporation was jointly owned by both the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Amtrak eventually became the
Union Station has hosted several demonstrations of special modern railroad equipment. One of them was the LRC (Light Rapid Comfortable) train, which this intrepid editor rode between Union Station DC and Odenton MD. Another was the JetTrain turbine locomotive in October 2002. The prototype was built by Bombardier and is capable of 150 miles per hour. JetTrain was proposed to be an element of the Florida Overland Express high speed rail plan. Funding for the system was denied by a referendum in 2004.
Also see . . .
1. Union Station: A Decorative History of Washington’s Grand Terminal. 1988 book by Carol Highsmith and Ted Landphair on Amazon.com.
2. Union Station: A history of Washington’s grand terminal. 2nd Edition. 1998 book by Carol M. Highsmith on Amazon.com
1. W. Graham Claytor,
Transcript of text on plaque shown on photo No. 9.
W. Graham Claytor, Jr., President and Chairman, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), July 3, 1982–December 6, 1993.
Following a long and distinguished career in public service and private industry, W. Graham Claytor, Jr. brought to Amtrak a life-log love of passenger trains and a dedication to the quality of rail passenger service. Among his most significant achievements at Amtrak was his leadership in the formation of a public-private partnership to restore and redevelop Washington Union Station.
In recognition of this service to intercity and commuter rail passengers, the community and its visitors; and in recognition of his nearly sixty years of public service, spanning eleven U.S. presidencies, and his many contributions to the American people through a remarkable career of business, military and government service, on January 26, 1994, by resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the Washington Union Station train concourse was named the “Claytor Concourse.”
2. A. Philip Randolph
Transcript of text on plaque affixed to the statue of A. Philip Randolph shown in Photo No. 12.
A. Philip Randolph, April 15, 1889–May 16, 1979.
Dedicated by the AFL-CIO to the memory of A. Philip Randolph, America’s foremost black labor and civil rights leader. The founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, he conceived and initiated the 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom.
“At the banquet table of nature there are no reserved seats. You get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. If you can’t take anything, you won’t get anything, and if you can’t hold anything, you won’t keep anything. And you can’t take anything without organization.” —A Philip Randolph
Categories. • 20th Century • Notable Buildings • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,996 times since then. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 6, 7. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.