Locomotion – Festival of Postcards
This festival brings together all of our favorite past-times, we love to travel and our favorite mode is by train, we just love the old stations, and my wife loves postcards. She likes to jump off the train at stops and run into the station to mail postcards and snap a picture of the station while shes in there, yes, we have had some close calls. In Sacramento once, I had the conductor holding the train while I ran to find her, she was all the way out in front trying to get a picture of the station from the street.
I went through Aunt Ivas postcard collection looking for a train oriented card and was surprised that this was the only one I found, Aunt Iva and Uncle George always traveled by car.
Los Angeles Union Station was the last big Union Station to be built and it still looks just the same. It really is an awesome building, totally different than the big stations back east, rather than huge and detailed, it is a picture of the place you have arrived in.
Since my wife and I were born and raised here in Southern California, this was the only train station we knew of until we started riding the trains. We hardly ever use it, we can always find a suburb station to travel out of so that we don’t have to mess with downtown traffic.
The back of this postcard, which since the station was built in 1939 and the card is linen I assume is from the mid 40s, says:
The Union Station, covering 40 acres and costing 11 million dollars, is a beautiful example of the Spanish architecture of Southern California and makes an appropriate entrance into the Southland for visitors, delighting them with its modern facilities and lovely garden setting.
Manufactured by Longshaw Card Co., Los Angeles, Calif.
Here are some current pictures of the station that I found around the web.
The station uses an art deco motif, inside and out, on top of the Spanish one.
There are several outdoor garden waiting areas.
Every time we find ourselves at the station, they have rented out one room or another for a meeting or a wedding.
In the late 80s my wife took the kids on a short coastal train trip and Amtrak was the sole tenant of the station, it was looking very outdated and was kind of like a ghost town.
Since then Los Angeles has added interurban trains to the suburbs, called Metrolink and a small subway system that has three routes that come in under the station, the Red, Gold and Purple lines. So now when ever we go in it is quite busy, probably not like the 40s or Penn station today, but at least its not as lonely as it was.