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Union Station White Paper

Union Station White Paper

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Published by Benjamin Freed

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Published by: Benjamin Freed on Aug 06, 2012
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11/04/2012

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A Golden Opportunity to Re-invest in
Historic Union Station
 
A Golden Opportunity to Re-invest in Historic Union Station
Prepared by the Union Station Preservation Coalition:
 
Capitol Hill Restoration Society:
For more than 50 years, theCapitol Hill Restoration Society has championed the interests of residential Capitol Hill by working to preserve its historic characterand enhance its livability through efforts in planning, zoning, trafcmanagement, and public safety.
Committee of 100 on the Federal City:
The Committee of 100 advocates responsible planning and land use in Washington,D.C. Our work is guided by the values inherited from the L’EnfantPlan and McMillan Commission, which give Washington its historicdistinction and natural beauty, while responding to the specialchallenges of 21st century development. We pursue these goalsthrough public education, research and civic action, and wecelebrate the city’s unique role as both the home of the District’scitizens and the capital of our nation.
DC Preservation League:
Founded in 1971 as “Don’t Tear ItDown,” the DC Preservation League is a nonprotmembership-supported organization dedicated to preserving andenhancing Washington’s historic buildings and open spaces forfuture generations to enjoy. As Washington’s citywidepreservation advocacy organization, DCPL identies signicantbuildings and neighborhoods, monitors threats to them,and increases public awareness of historic resources.
 
National Trust for Historic Preservation:
The National Trust forHistoric Preservation, a privately funded nonprotorganization, works to save America’s historic places. We are thecause that inspires Americans to save the places where historyhappened. The cause that connects us to our diverse pasts,weaving a multi-cultural nation together. The cause that transformscommunities from places where we live into places that we love.As the leading voice for preservation, we are the cause for peoplesaving places.
Photo Credits:
Carol M. HighsmithDezo HoffmannFranklin D. Roosevelt LibraryLibrary of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
 
Executive Summary
 
Union Station stands at a crucial junction.Over the past 35 years, this landmark has changed from a deteriorating, depressing white elephantto a beautiful, inspiring illustration of how historic buildings are central to a livable community. Thestation, which opened in 1907, is one of Washington’s most popular tourist attractions and a gatewayfor millions of travelers each year. It now provides a remarkable collection of benets to visitors andresidents alike: a beautiful structure, multi-modal transportation, opportunities for shopping anddining, jobs, and tax revenues.The question facing us now is clear:
how do we ensure Union Station remains a beautiful,vibrant center of urban life in the nation’s capital?
Several groups have recently proposed major developments that would expand and change thisstation. These projects create unparalleled opportunities to ensure that our community protects—andeven restores—Union Station’s historic character while making it a world-class, mixed-usedevelopment and multi-modal transportation center.The new Union Station Preservation Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that planning for these projectsrecognizes the importance of the historic resource and serves the building’s most importantstakeholder: the public. Not only is Union Station publicly owned (by the federal government), butpassing through it each day are approximately 100,000 members of the public. Today’s usersfollow in the footsteps of millions of people over the past century. Residents and visitors alike mustbe able to enjoy this remarkable building far into the future. For those reasons, the public must bothbe informed about redevelopment plans and have the ability to shape them.This report introduces the current proposals for the terminal, documents the importance of UnionStation, and explains how its past and future can be balanced by following eight recommendations.Primary among those recommendations are:(1) planning at and around the station must be integrated and comprehensive(2) preservation of the station must be a top priority(3) transportation must be the station’s primary use.A renewed Union Station cancontinue to meet theexpectations of its users forgenerations to come.Achieving that crucial goal willrequire a deep commitmentfrom many people.

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