About Union Station
Union Station opened on May 20, 1911, and was home to the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company (later Union Pacific Railroad); the Milwaukee Road transcontinental railroad joined a week later.
The station's Beaux Arts styling with classical proportions and ornamentation were fused with a red brick facade; the combination was called "progressive" by the Seattle Times in the day. The station's interior arched span measured 60 feet wide by 160 feet long and was the city's largest. The building was both modern and refined. In addition to its massive Great Hall, it included a men's private smoking room and barbershop, a women's waiting room and rest area, and a separate waiting room for immigrants.
Union Station housed passenger rail service for the next 60 years, though it was a struggle at times. America's car culture and the Great Depression combined to reduce train traffic by 70 percent between 1916 and 1935. World War II brought new energy to Union Station with thousands of Pacific-bound soldiers stopping along the way. In the '50s and '60s, construction of interstate highways and popular new passenger airplanes dealt huge blows to train travel. After Amtrak took over national passenger rail service in 1971 and named King Street Station its terminal, Union Station closed.
The building fell into disrepair and was mostly shuttered for the next three decades. In 1998, Union Station Associates, LLC (a partnership of Paul Allen and Nitze-Stagen & Co.) agreed to restore the historic building for use as Sound Transit headquarters. The $21 million renovation was completed and the reborn Union Station was christened as Sound Transit headquarters on Oct. 16, 1999.
About Trail to Treasure
The Trail to Treasure will be a premiere experience that fosters a sense of community, commemorates heritage, and enriches the lives of residents and visitors to Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. The trail will provide a diverse range of activities and opportunities that allow people to embrace, learn, and care for the region's natural environment and cultural history.
May 20th, 2011 marks the launch of the trail, featuring a printed map highlighting the history of the area. Future implementation plans will be highlighted at the event.
About The Alliance for Pioneer Square
The Alliance for Pioneer Square is a 501c3 non-profit organization devoted to the betterment of Pioneer Square through advocacy, marketing, events and community action.