Historic Union Station
By Ed Walsh
If you are in Montgomery, Alabama, be sure to check out the Historic Union Station.
These premises were originally designed by Mr. Benjamin Boswell Smith and opened to the public as far back as May 6, 1898.
In those days it was known as the Union Station and the Train Shed.
The architecture is reminiscent of the Victoria age with its a soaring beamed ceiling, richly carved wooden balcony and stained glass windows.
Did you know that Montgomery originally had a stagecoach station and then a stop on the Union Pacific railroad line from New York to New Orleans in the 1800s?
It’s true and did you also know there were actually six railroads in all that passed through Montgomery--Alabama’s capital, and the state’s second-largest city?
These were: the Atlantic Coast Line, the Central of Georgia, the Seaboard Airline, the M&O, L&N, and the Western of Alabama lines.
It was a very busy place. In fact the Union Station served as a passenger rail station right up until the late 1970’s.
But train service was eventually no longer needed and the building fell into disrepair.
It was ultimately restored between 1982 and 1983 and was given a second lease of life as an office building.
Finally, in 1999 it was taken over by the City of Montgomery who decided it would serve a useful purpose as the home to the Visitor Center and Depot Gift Shop.
So, before you visit any of the town’s attractions, be sure to pick up a handful of brochures at the informative Visitor’s Center in the Historic Union Station.
The brochures will cover such attractions as the Rosa Parks Museum, the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum and Old Alabama Town.
And should you be looking for a unique venue, Union Station offers those too.
Two possibilities are the Union Station Theater, which can accommodate up to 60, and the Union Station Train Shed that can accommodate up to 3,000 in 45,000 square feet.
So no matter what your business is in Montgomery, be sure to make the Historic Union Station your first stop.
The good folks there will be sure to keep you on the right “track.”
Tags: Union Station Train Shed , Convention And Visitors B , Montgomery , Alabama , Station
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