LA Architecture Tours, Sightseeing & Tourism

Pudleaux Tourism offers a variety of Architecture Tours in Los Angeles, California.
Featuring the Silver Lake Neutra Tour and LA Frank Lloyd Wright Tour

Los Angeles Architecture Tours: Los Angeles Union Station: John and Donald Parkinson, 1939

The manifestation of Los Angeles Union Station was a collaborative effort between the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, and Union Pacific railroads, with each railroad assigning an architect for the project, in addition to consulting architects John and Donald Parkinson. This was the last of the great railway terminals to be built in North America (1939), and was built during an era when most major American cities were on architectural hiatus. But Los Angeles carried through the 1930's with relative ease because of the Hollywood industry.


The idea for the Los Angeles Union Station was originally presented in 1911 by city planner Bion Arnold, but politics and financing held back the project. After years of controversy, the Los Angeles City Council put two propositions concerning Union Station on the ballot for a municipal election in 1926, and Angelenos approved both the erection and site of Union Station immediately behind the historic El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.  Three thousand people constituting Chinatown had to be relocated to present day Chinatown, immediately north of the Old Plaza. 


Most union stations built across America possess a Beaux-Arts, or at least quasi-Beaux-Arts, character, however the Los Angeles Union Station reflects the city's then obsession with Spanish Revival architecture and America's obsession with travel via Art Deco architecture -the latter appropriate for a massive train station.


Los Angeles Union Station is seen on the LA Highlights Tour