Monday, January 10, 2011

Inspiration: Los Angeles' Union Station

My trip to California in early December was a bit of an adventure thanks to the fact that I decided to take the train.  The trip from Albuquerque to Los Angeles mostly takes place overnight, and in the winter was primarily dark, so the potentially beautiful scenery was non-existent.   On the trip back I was also sick, which influenced the experience negatively.  Nonetheless, there was one really great reason to travel by train-- arriving at Los Angeles' Union Station.  Gorgeous.

 After being on the cramped train all night it was such a relief to step out into this central courtyard.
The station was completed in 1939, and it's sort of California Mission Style/Deco.  The stone and tile work is really cool.

This is the main entrance hall.  Behind me is the waiting room, to the left would be the central courtyard to to the right is the old ticket hall.  I tried to capture the scale of the place, but I don't find any of these photos to be very good at that.  This video might be better.
 This was one of the side courtyards.  It was so pretty and peaceful.

This window was off the ticket hall... I assumed that those bells might have wrung to announce imminent arrivals and departures?  Or maybe they were just a reference to the old mission bells.
Wave tiles surrounding the courtyard fountain.
The old ticket hall.  Currently closed off to the public.  The big chandeliers sort of mess with your perception of scale, but use those wooden doors at left for an idea of how big the space is.
The old restaurant, also closed to the public.  I had to take these through the glass doors, and as a result the copper details really didn't translate well.  I love the Native American floor pattern expressed in terrazzo.
This water fountain was right outside the restaurant.  A couple of guys looked askance at me when I photographed it, but I was amazed that it remains intact.  Stay away vandals!
This is a view from my seat in the waiting room.  The old chairs are huge.  The doors to the courtyards were open, and birds kept flying in and seemed to be making nests in the chandeliers.

The station services Amtrak and commuter rail in LA.  If I lived there I'd want to commute through here every day.

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