LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The city of Los Angeles is getting ready to celebrate the 75th anniversary of one of the most iconic transportation hubs: Union Station.
Seymour Rosen, 90, recalled the day Union Station opened on May 3, 1939.
“There were hundreds of people there, and I was there with my dad in front of this building, the mayor and everyone was there, and it was very exciting to me,” he said.
Back then, 66 trains utilized the hub, transporting 7,000 people a day.
Over the decades, Union Station grew to become the last great railway station in the United States.
“This property is historic in so many regards in the scope of the city of Los Angeles,” Kenneth E. Pratt, the director of property management at Union Station, said. “There was the mystery of the steam, and the hissing of the air brakes, and then the clanging of the bells when the engines were about to rollout of the station. And you’d hear the ‘All Aboard,’ and you’d be on the train to an adventure. It still carries that romance today.”
The iconic building has played host to weddings and parties, and has even been used on the big screen.
“There have literally been hundreds of movies shot in Union Station over 75 years. From Judy Garland movies to ‘Blade Runner,’” Pratt said.
CBS2’s Stephanie Simmons reports that the station is currently undergoing a much-needed makeover.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority acquired the property three years ago.
They plan to open new stores and restaurants within 18 months.
“They have a vision of making this not just a place to transition through, but a destination,” Pratt said.
Rosen believes Union Station is a wonderful connection to the past.
“I think it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Los Angeles. I think everyone should have an opportunity to see it,” he said.