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Archive for the ‘Train Station’ Category

As I mentioned during our visit to the Silver Skillet in Atlanta GA, the presence of authentic “boomerang” formica usually means a good meal awaits – as was the case with our breakfast at the Arcade Restaurant in Memphis, TN.

Arcade Restaurant Boomerang Formica(a silly smiling girl in the background doesn’t hurt either!)

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Union Station in downtown Nashville TN is one of a handful of beautiful old train stations converted into hotel space (remember the Lackawanna Train Station Hotel in Scranton we went to a few months back?) Built in 1900 it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It’s quite a grand sight along popular Broadway in Downtown Music City USA.

Union Station Hotel Nashville TN Exterior
While RetroRoadhusband and I were not able to stay at Union Station the folks there were very gracious in letting me snap a few photos, and gave me some brochures detailing the amenities of this luxury Wyndham Grand Hotel (also one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s designated Historic Hotels). You can tell the scale of the architecture by just looking at how dwarfed RetroRoadhusband is when compared to the fireplace and clock above!

Union Station Nashville TN Fireplace (more…)

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It is because of my memory of seeing Union Station in Worcester MA in a tragic state of disrepair many years ago that I am so happy to report that it has been renovated (in 2000), and is once again a beautiful and elegant confection of a landmark – deep in the heart of Worcester (clap-clap-clap)!

Union Station Worcester MA

The first time I saw Union Station it was as I emerged from the 290 underpass after driving down Shrewsbury street. There it loomed, a once grand old building, boarded up and grimy yet still looking impressive, despite it’s dishabille.  All I could think of was – and bear with me here – is the underground scene from Beneath The Planet Of The Apes….
You can see what I mean about the sad state of disrepair if you click this link to some great before and after photos of the Union Station renovation taken by Vistadome Views. Seeing the befores TOTALLY make you savor the afters.

The station opened in 1911, but with a decrease in trolley and train travel through the 1960’s it closed in 1972. The Worcester Redevelopment Authority acquired the building in 1997, and began a $32 million dollar restoration project, and the doors to the station were reopened in 2000. Hooray for not demolishing it!Union Station Worcester MA Restoration Plaque

The station’s original interior featured marble and terra cotta finishes, stained-glass ceilings and solid birch benches. I did not see any birch benches during my quick scout of the station ( as the  whole Retro Roadfamily waited in the car ) but boy did I try to capture the beautifully renovated interior and stained glass with my little point and shoot camera.

Union Station Worcester MA Stained Glass Ceiling While it didn’t seem like a busy day for rail travel, there were some folks enjoying this brightly lit space, which is also rented out for weddings and events.

Union Station Worcester MA Event Venue

There also appears to be a restaurant, though I could not determine if it was closed just because it was Saturday, or closed permanently. Any Worcesterites care to chime in? The place certainly looks swanky through the windows:
Union Station Restaurant Worcester MA
Both Retro Roadsis and Retro Roadhusband came in at different points to see what was taking me so long as I scurried around the place trying to snap as many photos as I could, knowing my time there was limited. They both were impressed with the space, but when RRsis and I saw a security guard walking our way we thought it was best to get back to the car and on our way. We were doing nothing wrong mind you, but in this day and age you just never know.

So if you’re going to Worcester, consider arriving by train, or at least make a point to stop and admire the fact that Worcester returned this landmark to its proper grandeur!

Union Station
2 Washington Square
Worcester MA 01604

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