The Union Passenger Station in Tacoma, Washington, USA, opened in 1911. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It currently serves as a courthouse of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. The distinctive architecture, dominated by a copper dome, is a landmark for the area.Building historyTacoma's reputation as the "City of Destiny" began when it was chosen by the Northern Pacific Company in 1873 as the western terminus of the northern route of the transcontinental railroad, then under construction. The city became a center for industrial and commercial development. Its economy expanded rapidly over the next two decades, and its population skyrocketed from just under 2,000 in 1873 to 37,714 in 1890.The city's first rail station was built in 1883, then moved to the site of the present Union Station on Pacific Avenue and enlarged in 1892. In 1906 the architectural firm of Reed and Stem was selected to design a new station more befitting Tacoma's image as a prosperous, thriving metropolis and railway terminus of the Northwest.Construction of Union Station began in 1909 and was completed in May 1911. Acclaim for Reed and Stem's design was immediate. The Tacoma Daily Ledger praised it as "the largest, the most modern and in all ways the most beautiful and best equipped passenger station in the Pacific Northwest".Despite optimistic forecasts by the railroad companies early in the century, the future would not be kind to the passenger rail industry. Railway rider ship peaked in the 1930s and again during World War II, then quickly declined as the automobile became America's preferred mode of transportation. In 1971 national passenger rail service merged into Amtrak. The Tacoma offices relocated to Seattle and Amtrak built a new Tacoma station near Freighthouse Square. The last passenger train left Union Station on June 14, 1984, and the abandoned building soon fell into disrepair.Before you head to Tacoma, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Tacoma trip site, to make sure you see all that Tacoma has to offer, including Union Station.
Union Station Reviews
Our family stopped by the old train station which is now a court house. Chihuly glass decorates the entire entrance. On a sunny day the glass gleams and on a cloudy day it is still beautiful... more »
This old train station still has some of the grandeur from its heyday. Now a courts building you can still wonder the atrium and downstairs to imagine how the entire station used to be. The atrium... more »
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