Sunday, April 1, 2012

Union Station in San Diego-southern end of Pacific Surfliner

The Union Station in San Diego is also known as the Santa Fe Depot and was built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to replace the small Victorian style structure that was built in 1887 for The California Southern Railroad.

Union Station in San Diego with Mission Architecture
Union Station in San Diego


 The Spanish colonial revival style stated is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Santa Fe Depot officially opened on March 8, 1915 to accommodate visitors to the Panama-California exposition. The depot was completed during a particularly optimistic period in the city's development and represents the battle waged by the City of San Diego to become the West Coast terminus of the Santa Fe Railway systems transcontinental railroad. In its heyday, the facility handled Santa Fe traffic and San Diego and Arizona Railway and San Diego Electric Railway. The designation was officially changed to San Diego Union Station in response to the San Diego and Arizona's completion of its own transcontinental line in December, 1919. The Santa Fe resumed solo operation of the station in January, 1951, when the San Diego and Arizona Railway discontinued passenger service.  The magnificent complex was designed by San Francisco architects Bakewell and Brown as a "monumental reminder" of California Spanish heritage. The mission revival styling reflects the Colonial Spanish history of the state and was intended to harmonize with the Spanish Colonial Revival Style buildings of the Panama-California Exposition.
Front of San Diego Union Station-Santa Fe
Front of San Diego Union Station

 The size and grandeur far surpassed anything the Santa Fe had ever built in the west. The new edifice featured a covered concourse that was 650 feet long by 106 feet wide with a main waiting room measuring 170 feet by 55 feet. A 27 feet by 650 foot long arcade connected the passenger terminal with the baggage and express rooms.
Passageway for passengers at San Diego Union Station
San Diego Union Station
 An enlarged bus depot was installed in the southeast portico in 1942. The massive arch of the front entrance is flanked by twin campaniles each topped by a colorful tile-covered dome and displaying Santa Fe's blue cross emblem on all four sides. The structure draws much more influence from the mission located in Oceanside than the mission located the closest in San Diego.

 The grand interior space has natural redwood beam ceiling and walls covered with brightly colored ceramic tiles.
Inside San Diego Union Station

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