The Union Passenger Station in Tacoma, Washington, is a massive Beaux-Arts railway station built in 1911. Designed by Reed and Stem, Union Station sports a giant copper dome and an expansive interior rotunda. Like many train stations around the U.S., Union Station fell into obscurity and disrepair after the last passenger train rolled out in 1984. Fortunately for this architectural wonder, it found new life as a United States District Courthouse in the 1990s and was saved from ruin or demolition.
We stumbled upon Union Station while looking for lunch in downtown Tacoma. Blown away by the exterior, we had to go inside! Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tacoma’s Union Station has been completely restored. The interior is decorated with huge, stunning glass art by renowned local artist Dale Chihuly. I asked about photography, and the security guard said it was fine as long as we didn’t photograph the courts or the security personnel. This presented a panorama challenge: the security checkpoint and metal detector are at the main entrance at the west side of the rotunda, and the courts are on the east side. Hmm.
We went to the second level and set up on top of the courts at the east end. The large clock obscures the security checkpoint down by the main entrance. Not ideal, but it shows off the glassworks pretty well. (Technically, you can “see” the courts through the glass floor tiles, but let’s not split hairs.)
No famous people are immortalized in this shot. There was one with me, but he kept himself out of the picture.
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