Metro Art Moves Tour of Union Station

Metro Art Moves Tour of Union Station

On the morning of Saturday, August 22, 2015, DTLA Rendezvous had a private Metro Art Moves tour of Union Station.  Here is a brief recap and some photos of what we explored.


Our tour started at the Information booth, just inside the Alameda Street entrance.


The original ticket lobby of Union Station has 62-foot high ceilings and a 110-foot ticket counter (on the right). The doors to the left are currently closed off, but they used to be the  main entrances to Union Station. This area is generally closed off to the public but open for filming, tours, and special events.


Union Station opened in May 1939 as the “Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal" and is currently the main railway station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States serving 110,000 passengers a day. (History on


We had the most fun exploring the Fred Harvey Room, originally the Harvey House restaurant. It is located in the southern area from the main building and is also closed off to the public.


Speakers on each side of the Fred Harvey Room announced train arrivals and departures.


Kitchen area for Fred Harvey Room, which will hopefully soon be renovated and back in action. According to The Source, Metro's blog, the Metro Board of Directors is considering a lease for the space by Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman of 213 Nightlife. "If the lease is approved by the full Metro Board at its October 2nd meeting, the new restaurant would be the first to occupy the Fred Harvey Room at Union Station since the original Harvey House restaurant closed in 1967." (Gastropub proposed for Fred Harvey Room at Los Angeles Union Station!, The Source)


Check out the Harvey House restaurant menu from Friday, August 20, 1943!
A cocktail was 40¢ and a glass of wine was 25¢, there's prune juice and boysenberry juice on the menu, and they observed "meatless days" on Tuesdays and Fridays! What would you order?


The Colonel John V. "Jack" Foley Courtyard in front of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California headquarters has a fountain with a snake-like pattern. There are chairs and tables in the courtyard generally used by workers in the area to enjoy lunch and/or a break.


Union Station has a few courtyards.


The underground passageway from the West to East portal is where you'll find the ramps to the Amtrak and Metrolink long distance trains as well as the Metro Gold Line to Pasadena, and in the future, to Azusa and Montclair.


This selection of photographs in the passageway, titled In the Ether (2015), by Joyce Campbell documents the flora from two local sites: Crown Coach Yard, a 40-acre industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles, and the canyons around the artist’s home in Glassell Park. The artworks expand upon Campbell’s ongoing series LA Botanical, which presents a photographic archive of the functional plants that inhabit Los Angeles. (In the Ether, 2015 on


These artworks are part of a Metro Art Photo Lightbox Series exhibition on view through spring 2016 in the passageway connecting Union Station East and West.


Accessible ramps to long distance trains.


"In the wake of a series of natural and human disasters in the City of Los Angeles, here at the site of our City's historic core, City of Dreams/River of History hopefully will contribute to a sense of reaffirmation in a City that becomes aware of its past, of the accomplishments of its present, and of the possibilities of its future— its dreams." -- Richard Wyatt


In the East Portal of Union Station, you'll find the "City of Dreams" 80-foot mural, the "Riverbench" clad in rocks from the LA River and Tujunga Creek and artifacts that were excavated from the original Chinatown, and a 7,500 gallon aquarium with etches of LA's historical figures executed by artists Richard Wyatt, May Sun, and Paul Diez. (City of Dreams/River of History, 1996 on


Look up to see the gorgeous glass ceiling of the East Portal rotunda.

Union Station East Portal.


From the East Portal, take the escalators or stairs up and out to the Patsaouras Transit Plaza (bus station) and the Metro Headquarters.


In the main lobby of the Metro Headquarters, you'll find James Doolin's "Los Angeles Circa 1879" in the center and "Los Angeles Circa 1910 & 1950" off to each side.


Head on up to the 3rd floor for James Doolin's "Los Angeles Circa after 2000".


DTLA Rendezvous with docent, Maurine Kornfeld.
Thank you, Maurine, for a fantastic tour!

Photo gallery with a few more photos.
Metro Art Moves - overview and tour schedules.
Union Station on Wikipedia.
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