Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Denver in Denver County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Welcome to Union Station

Denver's Transportation Hub

 

—1881 - Present —

 
Welcome to Union Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
1. Welcome to Union Station Marker
Inscription.
"Without railroads, Denver would be too dead to bury."
Thomas Durant, Vice President
Union Pacific Railroad, 1867

A survivor of fire and floods, Union Station is at the head of our railroad history. Landlocked, Denver needed reliable transportation to the outside world to survive. Railroads provided that conduit, carting valuable ore from mountain mines and delivering the materials and people who transformed the city into the largest metropolitan center in the Rocky Mountains.

Since the first train arrived in 1870, lower downtown has been the hub of the city's railroad network. By 1880, Denver was home to seven competing railroads, which consolidated and built Union Station in a dusty field near the South Platte River. It opened in 1881 and was soon joined by warehouses, saloons, and hotels on nearby streets. After a disastrous fire in 1894, a new roof and elegant clock tower rose in the center section. The waiting room was enlarged in 1914 to give Union Station its present appearance.

Trains remained the country's primary form of transportation through the mid-1940s. By the late 1950s, airplanes and automobiles had surpassed passenger railroads and trains had stopped running in Colorado, except for Amtrak and the beloved Winter Park Ski Train.

During the
Marker detail: Union Station image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Union Station
Union Station is the modern-day crown jewel of the Regional Transportation District's transit system. In May 2014, after years of construction, this transformed grand edifice reopened as a multimodal transportation hub, hotel, and retail center, surrounded by nearby businesses and residences. It has truly reclaimed its status as the centerpiece of Denver's 21st-century transportation system and served as a catalyst for the revitalization of our city.
late 1980s, a plan surfaced to move the passenger trains to the stockyards and turn the station into a convention center, but citizens rallied to save their station. In 2004, voters' approval of the Regional Transportation District's FasTracks transit expansion project revived Union Station and Denver's old rail networks. The building is shaping Denver's transportation future, while remaining a powerful reminder of the past.
 
Location. 39° 45.175′ N, 104° 59.989′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is at the intersection of Wynkoop Street and 17th Street, on the right when traveling south on Wynkoop Street. Touch for map. Marker is located on the plaza, near the large flagpole, directly in front of the Denver Union Station main entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver CO 80202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Union Station Timeline (here, next to this marker); The People of the Station (here, next to this marker); Union Station Area (a few steps from this marker); Union Station (a few steps from this marker); Denver City Railway Building (within shouting distance
Marker detail: Winter Park Ski Train image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Winter Park Ski Train
Winter Park Ski Train ran from 1940-2009. This popular excursion on Denver & Rio Grande Western trains traveled 56 miles between Denver and Winter Park, offering a relaxing ride through spectacular Colorado scenery.
of this marker); Edward W. Wynkoop (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); When the Depot Became a Station (about 300 feet away); Oxford Hotel and Annex (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a composite plaque mounted horizontally on a large stone pedestal. Marker is the 2nd (center) of a three-part marker series located in front of Union Station.
 
Regarding Welcome to Union Station. Since 2014, the Union Station building also includes the Crawford Hotel, which is built into the existing structure of Union Station and captures the many eras of Denver's history.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Denver Union Station
 
Also see . . .
1. History Of Denver’s Union Station.
(This link presents several historical photos of Denver Union Station.)
Union Station reached its zenith in the 1940s, when more than 50,000 visited daily. The station served as the center of farewells and homecomings for U.S. service members during World War II. One veteran, Larry Fanning, recalls it distinctly. Still just a teenager, he left for the war
Welcome to Union Station Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
4. Welcome to Union Station Marker (tall view)
from Union Station, seen off by his girlfriend at the time and her mother. The “Travel by Train” sign was added in the 1950s, but by that time air travel began to supplant trains. (Submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Union Station History.
(This link presents many historical photos of Denver Union Station.)
1894: A fire that started in the women’s restroom destroys much of the original building, including the wooden clock tower. The existing stone and brick walls of the building are kept relatively intact... allowing Union Depot to be rebuilt rather quickly with a stone clock tower, 40 feet taller than the wooden original.
1914: The stone clock tower is torn down along with the Great Hall area in order to expand the building to accommodate the growing popularity of train travel. It is rebuilt in the exterior style we see today under the new name, Union Station. (Submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Denver Union Station.
Denver's first train station was constructed in 1868 to serve the new Denver Pacific Railway, which connected Denver to the main transcontinental line at Cheyenne, Wyoming. By 1875, there were four different railroad stations, making passenger transfers between different railroad lines inconvenient. To remedy this issue, the Union Pacific Railroad proposed
Welcome to Union Station Marker (<i>wide view; this marker is at center of 3-marker group</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
5. Welcome to Union Station Marker (wide view; this marker is at center of 3-marker group)
creating one central "Union Station" to combine the various operations. In February 1880, the owners of the four lines (the Union Pacific, the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Denver, South Park & Pacific, and the Colorado Central) agreed to build a station at 17th and Wynkoop Streets. Architect A. Taylor of Kansas City was hired to develop the plans and the station opened in May 188 (Submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Denver Union Station (<i>marker visible near flag pole</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
6. Denver Union Station (marker visible near flag pole)
Denver Union Station (<i>front detail</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
7. Denver Union Station (front detail)
Denver Union Station (<i>interior detail</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
8. Denver Union Station (interior detail)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 51 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7, 8. submitted on June 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement