For L.A.'s Union Station, Designers Aim for the Extraordinary
"While high-speed rail remains an uncertain prospect in California, it is the centerpiece of four design concepts unveiled Wednesday for modernizing Union Station," reports Christina Villacorte. "Architects commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to upgrade the 77-year-old transit hub in downtown Los Angeles showed preliminary plans that put a high-speed rail system atop, beneath or alongside existing subways without compromising the character of the historic landmark."
According to Villacorte, the concepts outlined by Grimshaw Architects and Gruen Associates, "improved passenger concourses by adding shops, restaurants and other amenities; centralized terminals for buses, shuttles, taxis, car rental and even bike sharing; and tried to make the entire 40-acre property more accessible to surrounding neighborhoods in the Civic Center, El Pueblo, Chinatown and Little Tokyo."
"Metro's countywide planning executive director Calvin Hollis said if the bullet train is never built - its proponents are dealing with lawsuits and growing public opposition - the plans for modernizing Union Station will proceed, though with necessary changes."