Here is another great five-minute history of a D.C. landmark. Union Station was, for the first half of the 20th century, the gateway to Washington. It was how most people arrived in the city and it was a magnificent sight for visitors.
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The majestic building displaced the Irish community in Swampoodle, knocking down the shanty town residences of 1,700 poor Irish immigrants. It was designed in the beaux arts style by noted architect Daniel Burnham, who also designed the Flatiron Building in New York.
Three interesting facts from the video:
- When opened, it was the largest train station in the world.
- Up to 200,000 people a day passed through Union Station during World War II.
- With 32 million people passing through annually, it is the most visited site in the city.
- Amazing Old Color Photos of D.C. Circa 1941 (ghostsofdc.org)