When was the last time you rode the Gold Line to Union Station and walked around that glorious transit center that is celebrating its 75th birthday? Built in 1939 by the father and son team of John and Donald Parkinson (who also designed Bullocks Wilshire, Los Angeles City Hall and Memorial Coliseum), the Mission Revival station with hints of Art Deco remains just as beautiful as it was on opening day.
A new book exploring the building’s history and design can be found, along with other relevant books, on the shelves of the Monrovia Public Library. Los Angeles Union Station by Marlyn Musicant and published by the Getty Research Institute, is full of surprising historical facts and illustrated with architectural drawings and photographs. And, if you like the book and its topic, visit the exhibit of original drawings and artifacts currently at the Los Angeles Central Library (lapl.org). If Union Station also makes you start thinking about the other buildings that help define our history, then also read Bullocks Wilshire by Margaret Leslie Davis as it also shows off the talent and originality of the Parkinsons.
Moving a bit closer to home, the Gold Line station in Monrovia will open in 2016 and our long boarded up 1926 train depot at Myrtle Avenue and Duarte Road will be rehabilitated as the new local stop. A terrific book that shows historic pictures of the station, as well as depots in surrounding communities, including Arcadia, Duarte and Pasadena, is Santa Fe Coast Line Depots Los Angeles Division by Lee Gustafson.