More than 100,000 people pass through Union Station’s doors…..daily!
That number is very easy to believe if you’re one of them trying to make your way to your Amtrak train, subway, or to one of Union Station’s 100+ shops or restaurants. Union Station functions as a transportation hub for Amtrak, Metro and commuter trains; tour, Metro and DC Circulator buses; car and bike rental operations; and DC Streetcar station; and as a Capitol Hill shopping mall of stores as varied as Ann Taylor and Papyrus stationery.
Union Station is also a finely designed historic attraction. Try and find a spot out of the way of the hustling crowds to stand back and admire its features.
When it was designed at the beginning of the 20th century, Union Station’s mission was to serve as the “great and impressive vestibule to Washington.” The Beaux Arts building is modeled after the Roman public baths of Diocletian and Caracalla and the Arch of Constantine. The main hall’s barrel-vaulted, coffered ceilings are 96 feet overhead; light streams in through the large front entryways and from the clerestory windows in the ceiling. The hall is 225 feet long and 125 feet wide and is flanked by east and west skylit wings, filled with small shops and stalls.
And if you like Union Station’s architecture, head next door to the National Postal Museum inside another building designed by the same Daniel H. Burnham.
Metro: Union Station on the Red Line.