It Happened This Week in L.A. History


May 3, 1939

Union Station opens in the heart of L.A.’s original Chinatown, and half a million onlookers show up for the opening day parade. Plans for the station won out among voters as an alternative to a tangled proposed network of elevated railways. The station served as a hub for the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads until after World War II, when cars and planes became a preferred method of travel.

Today, Union Station brings Metrolink and Amtrak lines together under one historic roof – It’s been on the National Register of Historic places for over 30 years. 

Photograph courtesy Metro Archives

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