Saturday, June 15, 2013

L.A. Trek, Pt. 1

In my younger days, it was always a thrill to head out west, get in the car, and zip down the freeway. Driving at speeds not possible in a small town was a huge thrill. As the years have gone by, the freeways are more congested and my tolerance for traffic has greatly decreased. Traveling by train has suddenly become very appealing. On a recent trek to Los Angeles, I boarded the Amtrak Train at the San Diego Santa Fe Train Station.

I couldn't keep myself from pulling the camera out early to capture a few architectural details as I was walking to the station.

The train takes a little over two hours to get to L.A.; on a really good day, I could probably drive it in about 90 minutes. However, the chance of getting a good day and not getting stuck in traffic gets more and more difficult.

Union Station opened in May 1939 as the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.

It became known as "Last of the Great Railway Stations" built in the United States and was deservedly placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The massive interiors make quite an impression.

The smaller details, like this piece of vintage tile, also play an integral part in the beauty of this building.

Love the deco lettering.

Traxx Restaurant, which was originally the telephone room. One of these days I want to take the time to eat here. Even though it's only been around since 1997, it captures the feel of a bygone era.

Original light fixtures:

Comfy vintage seating:

It's easy to feel like you just stepped out of a Film Noir classic.

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage & current Union Station photos on my Union Station web page.


Major Pepperidge said...

I love Union Station... it makes me want to take a train somewhere just so I can come back to it.

The station in San Diego looks pretty spectacular too.

CoxPilot said...

I made the same trip, in reverse, as a young kid in grade school (Glenn L. Martin) in Santa Ana. Our class went to the San Diego Zoo around 1950 or '51. I remember both stations just as you show them, but in much less glory.

I think I have some brownie pictures of that trip buried somewhere in a mass of little black and white, scalloped edged, family photos in a box.

It's wonderful how many things from my childhood are coming back. Even Super-8 movie film has a new following, and my old camera is in vogue again.

K. Martinez said...

I've been to Union Station in Chicago, but not San Dan Diego. It looks absolutely beautiful! Does The Trolley link up with Union Station?

K. Martinez said...

San Dan Diego?!? WTH! I need to pay more attention to what I type before I post.

Daveland said...

Lee - I hope you are able to find those photos!

K. - I don't know, I kind of like San Dan Diego. There is a Trolley Station across the street from the Train Station.

JG said...

I love that San Diego station and remember Union station LA with great fondness.

Splendid architecture. We spend tons of money on transit design and have nothing comparable today. San Diego trolley stations for example. Not bad, but nothing like these old ones.