Union Station Turns 80! Take A Look Back At The LA Icon In Photos

Friday, May 3 is Union Station's 80th birthday. And to celebrate, we're taking a look back at its history, from its planning in 1933 to its icon-status today.

Despite the station's controversial past, the Art Deco, mission-style marvel still stands as a monument to the city's grand ambitions.

"The Last of the Great Railway Stations" is throwing itself a birthday bash over the weekend, to honor it's past and present.

So sit, back, relax and join us for a virtual train trip through Union Station's 80 years on earth.

The view down Marchessault Street in Old Chinatown, which is full of two and three-story brick buildings, circa 1937. This street was full of stores like Yee Sing Chong, seen in the foreground. In the background, men holding planks of wood gather under the steel framework for Union Station. This entire street was demolished for Union Station. (Herman J. Schultheis Collection/Los Angeles Public Library)

View of Apablasa Street in Old Chinatown. Union Station would be built here. (Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library)

Union Station under construction in 1937. (Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library)

Union Station under construction during the summer of 1938. (Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library)

Two people on a bridge overlooking Union Station in 1939. (Ralph Morris Collection/Los Angeles Public Library)

Crowd attending Opening Day at Union Station, April 1, 1939. (University of Southern California Libraries/ California Historical Society)

Group portrait of the Union Station employees, date N.A. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Crowd gathered around a locomotive on Opening Day at Union Station. (University of Southern California Libraries/ California Historical Society)

Cars and people outside of Union Station. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Outside Union Station, date N.A. (Photo by Herman J. Schultheis, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)
Union Station sign in Art Deco font, date N.A. (Photo by Herman J. Schultheis, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Passengers wait in front of Union Station, date N.A. (Photo by Herman J. Schultheis, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Interior view of Union station taken from the now closed large ticket room, 1981. (Los Angeles Public Library Collection/ Roy Hankey Collection)

Interior view of Union station in 1939. (Los Angeles Public Library Collection/ Works Progress Administration Collection)

Barber shop inside Union Station, date N.A. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Harvey House Restaurant in Union Station, date N.A. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Inside a restaurant at Union Station, date N.A. (Photo by Ralph Morris, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

A waitress stands behind the cash register counter at the Harvey House restaurant in Union Station. The restaurant was built in 1933-1939 by architects Donald and John Parkinson. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Trains waiting at the boarding platform at Union Station, date N.A. (Photo by Tom LaBonge, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

A porter with luggage at Union Station, date N.A. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Taxis outside Union Station in 1948. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Aerial view of Union Station, date N.A. (Photo by Tom LaBonge, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

The main hall at Union Station, 1979.(Los Angeles Public Library Collection/ Roy Hankey Collection)

Exterior view of Union Station, 1940. (Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)

Civic Center skyline as seen from Union Station. (Security Pacific National Bank Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)

Passenger drop off at Union Station, 1939. (Photo by Herman J. Schultheis, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

Union Station, 1949. (L. Mildred Harris Slide Collection/Los Angeles Photographers Collection)

Union Station on a smoggy day in 1955. (L. Mildred Harris Slide Collection/Los Angeles Photographers Collection)

People walk in Union Station on March 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Union Station from the top of City Hall, 2005. (Gary Leonard Collection/Los Angeles Photographers Collection)