AKA: Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS), Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - railroad stations

Designers: McKee, Robert E., Inc., Building Contractors (firm); Parkinson and Parkinson, Architects (firm); Tomson, Tommy, Landscape Architect (firm); Robert Eugene McKee Sr. (building contractor); Donald Berthold Parkinson (architect); John Parkinson (architect); Thomas Tomson (landscape architect); Jan van der Linden (architect)

Dates: constructed 1937-1939

Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

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The Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal was originally the shared home of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads in addition to the local electric railway lines, the Pacific Electric Railway and the Los Angeles Railway. Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal has been called many times, the last great American railroad terminal; use was heavy during World War II and into the late 1940s, but traffic here subsided as car travel took over as the dominant transportation mode in Southern California thereafter. Donald Parkinson designed the Union Station, one of his last major architectural works. (Although the firm of Parkinson and Parkinson is credited with the design of Union Station, John Parkinson died in 1935.) Parkinson worked with the company architects of the three railroads: H.L. Gilman, of the Santa Fe, J.H. Christie, of the Southern Pacific and R.J. Wirth, of the Union Pacific. Robert E. McKee signed a contract to serve as the Building Contractor on 04/23/1937. In 2008, Union Station was owned by the Catellus Corporation. Catellus was originally known as Santa Fe Pacific Realty Corporation, at that time a wholly owned subsidiary of the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation. The name was changed to Catellus in 1990. In 2005, ProLogis, a huge owner and manager of distribution facilities worldwide, purchased Catellus, and the Union Station.

An archival collection, "Architectural drawings for design and construction of the Union Station, Los Angeles, 1910-1991," is located at the Getty Research Library, Los Angeles, CA 90049; the collection consists of: "A collection of roughly 6,500 blueprints, architectural drawings, sketches, and photographic documentation of the construction site of the Union Station in downtown Los Angeles made between 1932 and 1939. Includes: conceptual drawings; landscape drawings; sketches of exterior and interior views; detail drawings of architectural elements, materials and furniture; plumbing and electrical working drawings; landscape drawings; and photographic documentation of the construction site (mostly negatives and some small black-and-white prints)." (See OCLC WorldCat, accessed 08/20/2009.)

PCAD id: 11641