Design: America's Great Depot Gets Back on Track

Union Station in Washington is gloriously restored

"Make no little plans," architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham wrote at the century's turn, "they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized." When Burnham's plan for the glorious beaux- arts Union Station was realized in Washington 81 years ago, it was one of the world's biggest rail terminals but otherwise very much of its time. Before World War I, budgets for civic building were generous, beaux-arts neoclassicism was almost obligatory, and the U.S. had more than 80,000 busy train stations -- yes, 80,000.

Just 1 in 10 of those stations remains today....

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