Once the hub of the American economy, railroad barons built grand railroad stations across the country in Spanish Mission, Gothic, Greek Revival, and Richardsonian Romanesque styles, but these structures have suffered a variety of fates. The notorious razing of Pennsylvania Station in New York brought howls of protest from the architectural conservation lobby, but Chicago also lost the Chicago and Northwestern Terminal. Atlanta had a grand Passenger Depot until it was reconfigured by General Sherman in 1864. Savannah demolished its own impressive Union Station in 1904, but nearby the Central of Georgia station lives on as the city’s visitor center and museum. Houston ripped up the rails at their Union Station and the platforms have been replaced by the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park. Los Angeles’ still operational Union Station dates from the 1930s and still displays its Art Deco detailing inside with Spanish Mission touches outside. Las Vegas, the destination for many an L.A. train, had a similar 1930s depot, but today the Plaza casino sits on the site.
About the Author
Ken Fitzgerald is a Dallas resident who has written and photographed features for railway periodicals over a period of 30 years. He is the author of Dallas: Then and Now.