Union Station

Seattle, Washington | C.1910

Photo Credit: Rachel Bishop


The opening of Union Station in Seattle in 1911 brought a new confidence to the city, hopeful that it was on its way to stand alongside the metropolises of New York and Chicago. Designed by architect Daniel J. Patterson, Union Station serviced the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

This station was a modern marvel for its time, featuring a hospital, restaurants, a barber shop and a giant subterranean rubber ring around the facility that made it earthquake-proof. Union Station oversaw passenger services for over half a century.  By 1971, however, the rail lines running through the station went under, and the structure sat vacant for the next 30 years.

In 2000, the building was renovated with enough care and precision to earn it the National Historic Preservation Award. It now houses the offices for the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. Union Station is open to the public during regular business hours, but does not see very many visitors. However, the space is often rented out for weddings and other events.

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