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What Could Union Station Look Like in 2050?
Los Angeles, this is your future...transit hub, that is. Today Metro revealed for the first time to the public the six "visions" of Union Station in the year 2050 as rendered by architectural firms hoping to be a part of the "Master Plan" to give the historic depot and adjacent land a major overhaul.
Before you panic, a note: The historic Union Station building, opened in 1939, is not getting knocked down or messed with. (Exhale.)
The vision boards, which take creative but considered looks at what the city's major transit hub could be in less than 40 years, aren't part of the formal evaluation process for vying for the bid to re-design the historic station, but, as Metro explains, are "rather a means to begin the public engagement process and ignite inspiration about Union Station as a multi-modal regional transportation hub."
Metro purchased Union Station in February 2011 for $75 million dollars, and the sale was completed in April of last year. Involved in the purchase are 38 acres of land and 5.9 million square-feet of entitlements that provide Metro the right to build on the property and draw lease revenues from both transit operators and businesses.
To prepare for big changes at the station, Metro began the Master Plan process in 2011, and received 22 qualified submissions in response to their request for firms interested in doing the work of redeveloping the Union Station land parcel.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, Metro Deputy Chief Executive Officer Paul Taylor, and Metro Executive Planning Director Martha Welborne were on hand early this afternoon at Union Station to welcome the six presenting teams: EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company, in association with UNStudio; Grimshaw/Gruen; IBI Group/Foster+Partners; Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners/Ten Arquitectos/West 8; NBBJ/Ingenhoven Architects; and Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
Metro staff will make their recommendation to the Metro Board on June 28. Upon approval by the Board, the Master Planning process could be completed in 24 months.
We've got images of the boards sent over by Metro, but you can also access a .pdf of the artwork here. We're kind of partial to the garden-oriented one...any of them strike you as the Union Station--and Los Angeles--you'd like to know in 2050?