In Washington, D.C.: Last Stop for Union Station

There have been two disastrous days in the history of Washington's Union Station. The first was Jan. 15, 1953, when a train hurtled beyond the tracks, through a newsstand and into the main concourse, where it smashed through the concrete floor and landed in the baggage room. Miraculously, no one was killed. The second was Feb. 29,1968, when Congress decided to save the magnificent old building. From this intrusion, Union Station has never recovered.

Today, 20 congressional hearings and $83 million later, the station is closed, too dangerous to use. Parts of the roof have...