Union Station, Los Angeles

Union Station, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) is the main railway station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States, serving almost 110,000 passengers a day. It opened in May 1939, replacing La Grande Station and Central Station (hence the “Union” name), and was the last of the great American rail stations to be built. Today the LAUS sits on the outskirts of New Chinatown, on the plot of land originally occupied by the Tongva village of Yaanga, believed to have been the largest of the Tongva villages, which later marked the heart of L.A.'s Old Chinatown. As the matter of fact, the original Chinatown neighborhood was demolished to make room for the station, sparking fears that it might "forever do away with Chinatown and its environs."

Originally intended as a transcontinental terminus station for the Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railways, the LAUS was a major hub for troop movement during World War II. With the advent of air travel, train service declined at depots across the country, including Union Station. As of the 1970s however, the growing use of Amtrak and expansion of local and regional rail revitalized the station as a major transportation hub of Southern California.

Designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style, the station combines Mission Revival-exterior with Streamline Moderne interior, featuring marble floors, high ceilings and decorative tiles, all of which make it a handsome place and vibrant symbol of downtown’s renaissance. Designated as a Los Angeles Historic–Cultural Monument in 1972, the building was then placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. In 1992 the station was fully restored, and in 2019 celebrated its 80th birthday.

This iconic Los Angeles landmark is well maintained and has a few restaurants and a beer pub on the premises. It often hosts concerts and exhibitions too, and, as such, is a dynamic destination for the arts, entertainment and culture, being more than just a bustling transportation hub in the heart of the city. As a true cultural destination connecting the infinitely varied and wonderful elements, it is also a great place for photography, well worth a visit if you have some extra time in L.A.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Los Angeles. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Union Station on Map

Sight Name: Union Station
Sight Location: Los Angeles, USA (See walking tours in Los Angeles)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Los Angeles, California

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Los Angeles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
LA Downtown Walk

LA Downtown Walk

The history of Los Angeles – "a bright and guilty place," as Orson Welles described it – began on September 4, 1781, when a group of 44 Spanish settlers established a hamlet on the territory of present-day Downtown LA which they called “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels” (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles).

The land became part of Mexico in 1821,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Beverly Hills Walking Tour

Beverly Hills Walking Tour

Undeniably one of the most famous places in the world, Beverly Hills is widely known as the most fashionable destination in Los Angeles county to shop and have fun at. Originally a Mexican ranch where lima beans were once grown, this place has long been a home to many Hollywood stars and other celebrities, luxurious hotels, and high-end boutiques.

Beverly Hills started to gain prominence in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Arts District Walking Tour

Arts District Walking Tour

The Arts District is one of the hottest neighborhoods in downtown LA, located between Little Tokyo at Alameda to the west and the railroad yards and Los Angeles River to the east. Formerly an industrial area of warehouses and factories, it has been home to art studios and galleries since the 1970s. Having undergone another downturn in the 1990s, the area was officially renamed the “Arts...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
El Pueblo and Little Tokyo Walk

El Pueblo and Little Tokyo Walk

El Pueblo and Little Tokyo are two culturally rich and historically significant neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

The former is the oldest district in the city. Also known as the birthplace of Los Angeles, El Pueblo is centered around the Los Angeles Plaza. Throughout most of the 19th century, it was the city's administrative and commercial center: first under the Spanish (from 1781 to 1821),...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

Unlike other cities where Chinese immigrant neighborhoods were formed organically, the Los Angeles Chinatown is the only planned Chinatown in the US. A blend of Chinese and American architecture, it was developed in downtown LA, as a tourist attraction, in the 1930s.

Designed by Hollywood artists as a "Chinese" movie prop to create an exotic atmosphere, LA's Chinatown gives out...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Movie Studios Tour

Movie Studios Tour

The film studios of Los Angeles, collectively known as the “dream factory”, are indeed factories. Here, countless iconic films and television shows have been produced over the years, creating stars and attracting great movie-makers from around the globe. Let's take a brief look at some of these vital hubs in the entertainment industry.

Raleigh Studios is one of the oldest continuously...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles

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