Where else but Los Angeles, might you transform an old transportation center into an ecstatic underground entertainment scene? Sure, you’ve heard of Union Station, the bustling transportation hub in the heart of the downtown district, bringing passengers together from places near and far. But did you know that it is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States, or that it is affectionately called “the last of the great train stations”, or that is is considered to be one of L.A.’s architectural gems? And, have you heard of the Happenings, or the unique spaces for rent there, to host your elegant corporate/social events and weddings, or the delectable, diverse dining experiences that await you? Well, I’m excited to be the one to enlighten you about the many outstanding, and perhaps, new to you, features of our famous Union Station, taking place regularly, literally under the City of Angels.
FIRST, A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Built it 1939, this iconic landmark symbolizes the renaissance taking place in the downtown area today. It was designed in the Mission Modern Style, Spanish with an Art Deco twist, by the father son architect team of John and Donald Parkinson, assisted by a group of supporting architects, including Jan van der Linden. The structure combines Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne style, highlighted with architectural details such as eight-pointed stars, inlaid mission tiles, brass and American Black Walnut adornments and marble floors. Along with expansive shade patios and magnificent Palms, these appointments are the ultimate reflections of the California lifestyle, embracing the spirit and soul of Los Angeles. In 1972, Union Station was designated as a Los Angeles Historic–Cultural Monument and in 1980, this architectural gem was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
After completion, it catapulted into a bustling 24/7 operation. During WWII, tens of thousands of servicemen were carried through the terminal each day on 100s of trains. Today, it is the major portal for Southern California transportation and the largest transportation terminal in the West, with more than 110,000 passengers traveling through daily.
You may still be asking, “What is all the buzz about?” So, of course, there are the myriad of transportation services which will be highlighted below. But what about the more unusual offerings… those good eats and convenient shops and exciting arts? And just what are those Happenings?
Believe it or not, Metro Art and Union Station host an inspiring collection of events, that feature innovative performances in dance and music, and unparalleled art exhibitions, with diverse cultural programing that showcases entertainers, artists and innovators throughout Los Angeles. Usually, FREE to the public, neither reservations or tickets are required for these events.
THE FLOOR IMPROV DAY #1
Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm — Union Station Ticketing Hall
Some of the best talent in L.A. come together for an exciting night of performances and live classes, in various styles of dance, movement and music. The popular session known as, “The Floor Improv Jam!” culminates the event, where capoeira and flamenco, to tap and breakdance, bring vibrant cultures together from all over the world through music and dance.
FRANK FAIRFIELD AND MEREDITH AXELROD
Friday, June 30, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm — Union Station Waiting Room
Los Angeles based artists Frank Fairfield and Meredith Axelrod come to Union Station for a folk concert during rush hour. Frank often plays the streets of L.A., entrancing listeners with melodic sounds on his fiddle, guitar and banjo. Meredith Axelrod learned to sing and play using cylinders, 78-rpm records and sheet music, focusing on early twentieth century music.
Friday, July 07, 2017 from 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm — Union Station Ticketing Hall
Renowned Los Angeles salsa group Rumbankete, an international ensemble of musicians from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States, will treat you to a night of dancing and music. One of the West Coast’s most exciting and progressive Salsa orchestras, they are known for their dynamic rhythm section, powerful trombones and high impact vocal delivery, earning them the name “La Máquina del Sabor”.
CHESTER WHITMORE’S TAP & JAZZ REVUE
Friday, July 14, 2017 from 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm — Union Station Ticketing Hall
Featuring the legendary dancer Chester Witmore, this promises to be an extraordinary evening of tap dance and music performance. Originally studying to be a cinematographer, an unexpected encounter with Fayard Nicholas, the tap dancer who became his mentor, changed everything. Chester also studied with notable performers John Bubbles, Leonard Reed, Clarence Landry and others.
UNION STATION SUMMER TRAIN FEST
Saturday, July 15 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Union Station
Along with a Kids Zone, Model Trains and LA’s hottest Food Trucks, a rare collection of magnificently restored vintage train engines highlight the Summer Train Fest. This free family event, allows you to take a journey through time.
THE FLOOR IMPROV DAY #2
Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm — Union Station Ticketing Hall
Some of the best talent in L.A. come together for an exciting night of performances and live classes, in diverse styles of dance, movement and music. The popular session known as, “The Floor Improv Jam!” ends the event, where capoeira and flamenco, to tap and breakdance, bring a variety of cultures from all over the globe together through music and dance.
KCRW SUMMER NIGHTS AT UNION STATION
Friday, August 11 from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm — Union Station South Patio
Metro Art Presents the “Summer Nights at Union Station” series, a collaboration with KCRW’s signature “Summer Nights” series. Join in, for delicious, danceable grooves, games, food and drink in this historic landmark.
Featuring KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez + Valida
KCRW SUMMER NIGHTS AT UNION STATION
Friday, August 25 from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm — Union Station South Patio
Metro Art Presents the “Summer Nights at Union Station” series, a collaboration with KCRW’s “Summer Nights” series. Dancing, games, food and drink will flow throughout this grand venue.
Featuring KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley + KCRW DJ Travis Holcombe
THE FLOOR IMPROV DAY #3
Sunday, August 27 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm — Union Station Ticketing Hall
Some of the best talent in L.A.come together for an exciting night of performances and live classes, in diverse styles of dance, movement and music. The ever popular session known as, “The Floor Improv Jam!” culminates the event, where capoeira and flamenco, to tap and breakdance, bring vibrant cultures together from all over the world through the mediums of music and dance.
Take some moments to relax, refresh yourself, grab some nutrition and fun people watching. While Union Station is in the midst of opening new on-the-go eateries encompassing tastes from around the globe, the following establishments are already open.
GRAND WAITING ROOM
TRAXX RESTAURANT and TRAXX BAR
Elegant New American cuisine in a romantic setting reminiscent of the golden era of train travel, this is one of the city’s most unique formal culinary experiences.
Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:30pm—2:30pm
Bar Menu: Mon-Sat 2:30pm—Close
Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:00pm—9:00pm
UNION STATION EAST
OTO OTO EXPRESS
Authentic “grab-and-go” Japanese cuisine including delectable crepes, hand rolls and rice bowls.
Using high-end beans from artisan roasters, skilled baristas carefully craft coffees from around the world. Specialities include the traditional macchiato, Kyoto-style iced coffee and a variety of distinctive teas.
GREEN BOWL 2 GO
Fresh, healthy comfort food; delicious salads, wraps, soups, meatballs, mac n cheese and much more.
BEN & JERRY’S
This legendary shop serves up “Euphoric” ice cream flavors the way they were first scooped by Ben and Jerry themselves, in a place where friends hang out and good vibes flow. With custom and ready-to-go cakes, they will also cater your next corporate or family event, delivering ice cream right to your door!
As a “Starbucks Express”, the sleek, 400-square-foot, open-concept coffeehouse doesn’t have seating, but instead features digital menu boards with the most popular products such as brewed coffee, signature espresso and chilled beverages, sandwiches and croissants. An employee takes orders in the line before you get to the counter, slicing wait times, and offering a more streamlined, “walk-through” experience.
Everybody’s favorite, fast, fresh, delicious, made-to-order sandwiches, chips and cookies.
Exquisite international selection of pastries, deserts and cookies, from French macaroons, to Pierogi, baclava, cannoli, and mouth watering breads.
Scrumptious oven baked salty, sweet, savory pretzels and snack rolls with a twist. Try the cinnamon bites or the apple cinnamon pretzel.
THE SHOPPING and AMENITIES
While an extensive new retail experience is scheduled to launch in the Fall, slated to feature curated selections of artists and artisans from across the Southland, these opportunities await you now.
TRIMANA FRESH FOODS MARKET
A convenience store with tantalizing, healthy, wholesome food to go, pizza, pre-made wraps and salads, nuts, power bars and beverages.
Union Station East
Shoe Shines will set you back a mere $7. Repairs, Pick-ups and Drop Offs are available.
Metro and the City of Los Angeles have launched Metro’s bike sharing program. Up to 1,000 bicycles are now available at up to 65 Downtown L.A. locations including Union Station.
To use the bike share system, customers can purchase a monthly or annual flex pass at
Bike racks can be found at the following three locations:
◦At the front of Los Angeles Union Station, to the right of the Alameda St. entrance, which can accommodate 8-10 bikes
◦8 individual bike racks
A new Metro Bike Hub is coming soon, and will offer secure bike parking spaces with controlled access for registered users 24/7. Repair services and retail will be available. Anticipated to open mid-2017. For more information on Metro Bike Hubs visit www.metro.net/bikehub
A diverse variety of site-specific artworks are incorporated into LA Union Station and nearby Metro Headquarters building. Joining hundreds of other unique artworks at Metro sites throughout Los Angeles County, the mission is enriching the transit experience and promoting a sense of place for customers and visitors. Visit unionstationla.com/tours to learn more about free, guided tours of the artworks and architecture at historic Union Station. Visit metro.net/art and learn about Metro’s art program. Here is a sampling of the artists on view.
EAST LOS STREETSCAPERS
La Sombra del Arroyo, 1995
Patsaouras Bus Plaza
Hand-painted ceramic tiles on the underside of the bus plaza’s pedestrian bridge depict a tree canopy bursting with birds and animals, seemingly indigenous to the area. The charming scene of a person’s feet dangling over the bridge, which is inlaid with relief tiles, creates a sense of peacefulness in this inviting, shady seating area.
NOEL KORTEN AND KIM YASUDA
Patsaouras Bus Plaza
Expansive wing-like canopies of metal and glass create waves of pattern along the length of the bus plaza. This piece is said to “incorporate ideas about shelter, movement, evolution and change”.
LA: City of Angels, 1993
Union Station: Red/Purple Line west entrance
Commemorating Los Angeles’s 11 founding families, this three-dimensional mural involves stylized aluminum wings hovering over a painted map of Southern California’s coastline. The wings are labeled with names of angels from various religions, each chosen to metaphorically reference Los Angeles: Dagiel, fish; Gabriel, mercy; Janax, Monday; Mika’il, insomnia; Nogah, cooling the summer; Ram’khastra, rarefied air; Rohab, the sea; Sofiel, vegetables; Sui’el, earthquakes; Sut, lies; and Zahun, scandal.
Solar Shift: San Bernardino and Santa Monica, 2006
Union Station: Gold Line Portal
Consisting of two 55-foot-long mosaics at the tops of the east-west facing walls and a mosaic on the central skylight, the facing murals depict the Santa Monica sunset to the west and the San Bernardino Mountains to the east, interpreted as symbolizing the natural beauty of Los Angeles and its delightful geographic position.
Guardians of the Track, 1995 and 2016
Patsaouras Bus Plaza and Metro Headquarters exterior
Screens cut from steel feature figures, celestial symbols and graphic designs that reference built and natural environments. Adorning several outdoor areas, these sculpted panels add beauty to the Metro Headquarters façade, in addition to performing as safety rails around the bus plaza.
METRO ART PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS
Exhibits of illuminated photography at a number of Metro stations are curated by Metro’s art program. Works are displayed within lightboxes at Union Station and in the passageway connecting Union Station East and West. The current exhibition is featured below. More information about the series is available at metro.net/art
The Makers: Portraits of Metro Artists Whose Work Enriches the Rider’s Journey, 2016
Union Station Passageway
This series portrays the artists behind the artworks in the Metro System. Photographed in the artists’ homes and studios, the remarkable portraits offer a rare look into the lives of many of the talented individuals whose artworks embellish the environment for Metro rider’s daily encounters.
ART & ARCHITECTURE TOURS
SECOND SUNDAY (10:30AM – 12:30PM)
2017: 1/8, 2/12, 3/12, 4/9, 5/14, 6/11, 7/9, 8/13, 9/10, 10/8, 11/12, 12/10
Begins at the information booth inside the Alameda Street entrance to historic Union Station
These tours, lead by Metro Art Docents, cover historic Union Station art, architecture and spaces not generally open to the public, including the Historic Ticketing Hall, as well as artworks located in the Gold Line Portal, Union Station East and inside the Metro Headquarters Building.
METRO ART MOVES
Metro Art Moves is a series of regularly scheduled and special tours of artwork in the Metro Rail system, including Union Station, led by trained Metro Art Docent Council volunteers. They provide insights into the artworks, artists and art-making processes, as well as the unique Mission Moderne architecture. Special tours engage the passengers in unique ways. Tours are FREE and reservations are not required. Meet at the Information Booth inside the Alameda Street entrance at 10:30. View other tours offered by Metro Art, visit metro.net/artVENUE RENTALS
THE VENUES for RENT
Union Station showcases unique spaces to host your corporate/social events, weddings and more. Choose between four spectacular locations.
Capacity: 500 Seated, 1,000 Standing
Capacity: 300 Seated, 700 Standing
Public Space – Subject to Change
Capacity: 250 standing, 100 Seated
Prices range from $6,000 – $20,000 depending on the size and scope of your event. To reserve your space, a non-refundable 50% deposit and signed agreement is executed, with the balance and (refundable) security deposit due 30 days before your event. Event insurance, vendor insurance and a security deposit are required. The security deposit is refunded in full within thirty (30) working days provided there are no damage/restoration or additional labor charges. Any damage/restoration and additional labor charges will be charged against your deposit. Rates and fees are subject to change based on your individual event requirements. Rates are not guaranteed until full execution of special event agreement and 50% deposit is received. Prep and Strike days are charged at 1⁄2 of the
Total Daily Rental Fee. Load in and load out is required on the same day as the event, unless otherwise arranged.
ON-SITE PARKING /VALET PARKING are through ABM PARKING – (213) 620-068
THE WAYS to TRAVEL
Amtrak long-distance routes
Amtrak operates four long-distance trains out of Los Angeles:
Amtrak California regional routes
Amtrak California operates multiple-times-daily regional rail services to cities across the state:
The Patsaouras Transit Plaza, on the east side of the station, serves dozens of bus lines operated by Metro and several other municipal carriers as well as the MegaBus and Bolt Bus offering routes to the ever popular destination of Las Vegas.
METRO and MUNICIPAL BUSES
•University of Southern California shuttles
•Mount St. Mary’s College shuttles
•Hollywood Bowl shuttle
DODGER STADIUM EXPRESS
Go Metro to Dodger Stadium
Buses run every 10 minutes, starting 90 minutes before game time.
FlyAway coach at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza.
LAX FlyAway service is offered between Union Station and Los Angeles International Airport. FlyAway buses run every 30 minutes between 5 am and 1 am and on the hour between 1 am and 5 am. Tickets are sold from a ticket kiosk at the southwest corner of the island platform
SEVERAL OTHER SERVICE’S BUS STOPS ARE LOCATED NEAR THE PATSAOURAS TRANSIT PLAZA:
Megabus provides several routes from the Patsaouras Transit Plaza:
•M10 to Las Vegas
•M12 to San Francisco via San Jose
BoltBus also operates long-distance motorcoach routes from Union Station. They do not use the plaza itself, but stop at a curb on the west side of the station.
Metrolink commuter rail service began on October 26, 1992, eventually expanding to incorporate 6 different routes.
Green : Antelope Valley Line
Orange : Orange County Line
Purple : Riverside Line
Red : San Bernardino Line
Yellow : Ventura Line
Blue : 91/Perris Valley Line
RAIL 2 RAIL
Rail 2 Rail offers Metrolink Monthly Pass Holders additional travel options on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains. Click on Rail 2 Rail for more details.
A new transitway station for the Metro Silver Line and other transit buses operating on the El Monte Busway is being built to the south of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza in the median of the El Monte Busway funded by tolls collected as a part of the Metro ExpressLanes project. It will allow buses traveling in both directions on the busway to serve Union Station with a minimum of delay for passengers to other destinations. When completed, passengers will walk directly on a bridge, from the Patsaouras Transit Plaza to the busway station, eliminating a long walk across the Union Station property to the current stop located on the El Monte Busway at Alameda. As of April 2017 the station is under construction, and is expected to open in the spring of 2018.
•Daily parking is available in front of Union Station at Lot B.
•60 parking spaces at a maximum charge per day of $16.
•No covered parking spaces and overnight parking is not permitted.
•Valet is available ONLY for TRAXX and MWD guests.
Information offered courtesy of Mark Bolender, RE/MAX and is deemed reliable, based on print resources available online. Trust in me for all of your real estate needs… 310-857-4956 or 661-714-0510