Union Station: Los Angeles' iconic and beloved transit hub celebrates 80th anniversary

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A two-day celebration continued Saturday at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles as the historic transit hub marked its 80th anniversary.

The iconic landmark officially opened its doors in 1939. Eight decades later, the station seemed downright spry as enthusiasts of train travel and L.A.'s history gathered to celebrate the milestone.

"This place is magical in so many regards," said Kenneth Pratt, whose official title is deputy executive director but is informally known as the "mayor of Union Station." "It's an icon on a national basis for its architecture and things. But as a facility, this is a place that is a destination for Los Angelenos and we have people from all over the globe coming here."

Pratt noted that more than 36 million travelers pass through the station each year.

The structure was originally built at a cost of $11 million. It was purchased by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2011 for $75 million.

Since then, some $48 million has been invested in restoration projects at the rail terminal.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.