Transportation Transformation - Denver Union Station


Hobart, Australia

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Wall Art

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Featured in Alphabet Soup Group on 06/02/12

Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot on 29 June 2010.
Cropping and minor adjustments in PSE 9
HDR processing in Simply HDR for Mac.

Denver Union Station was designed by local architects Gove & Walsh and was completed in 1914. It was given a Beaux-Arts styling and lower profile than its predecessors, somewhat resembling the New York Central’s Grand Central Terminal in New York City. One of the building’s more interesting distinctive features, at least regarding rail operations, is that it was one of only a few that served both standard and narrow gauge trains as well as interurban (trolley) operations.

During the station’s heyday which lasted from the time of its opening in 1914 through roughly 1950 it served some eighty daily passenger trains of the Union Pacific; Denver & Rio Grande Western; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (the classic Santa Fe). It was during the 1950s that Denver Union Station’s decline (as with almost all other railroad stations nationwide) as a major rail hub took place and by the 1970s few trains still called there including the famous California Zephyr, which by the spring of 1970 had been renamed the Rio Grande Zephyr, operated exclusively by the Denver & Rio Grande Western.

In 1974, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) because of its importance to the history of transportation in Denver and the state of Colorado. The station is registered under the name of Union Station and is one of the most historically prominent buildings in Denver. DUS is located adjacent to downtown Denver’s largest concentration of historic and industrial buildings, an area commonly known as Lower Downtown, or LoDo.

Today, while a few of Denver Union Station’s most decorative pieces have been removed including chandeliers, candelabras, and a large welcome-arch it mostly remains intact and just as it appeared following its opening. The station also remains quite active with all floors filled with offices, business, or entertainment venues including the area immediately surrounding the building, which is quite prominent itself.

Today, in the 21st century, Denver Union Station is under redevelopment as a major hub for multimodal transportation, including commuter rail which is to be expanded throughout the local area. It has recently been decided that the central building will become a boutique hotel with restaurants and shops.

Artwork Comments

  • AndreaEL
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  • Susie Peek
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  • Jan Fijolek
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  • Monika Howarth
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  • Melissa Dickson
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  • rocamiadesign
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