05 October, 2009

The Grand Hall of Saint Louis' Union Station-My World-August 2009

From its magnificent 65-foot, barrel-vaulted ceiling in the Grand Hall to its Victorian-engineered train shed totaling more than 11 acres, St. Louis Union Station remains one of our nation's true architectural "gems." Built at a cost of $6.5 million in the 1890s St. Louis Union Station was designed by German-born architect Theodore C. Link of St. Louis who won the prized project in a nationwide contest.

Union Station was split into three main sections; the Headhouse (where the Grand Hall was located featuring mosiacs, gold leaf details and scagliola surfaces); the Midway (which was the main concourse measuring at 610 feet long by 70 feet wide); and finally the Trainshed which featured 32 tracks on nearly 12 acres of ground for the dozens of trains calling there.

A building of mammoth proportions and elegant ornamental decoration, St. Louis Union Station was intended to accommodate thousands of travelers and workers daily. The monumental head house featured numerous amenities including a luxurious hotel, a saloon, a dining hall, lunch rooms, gender-oriented lounges, a ticket office, several offices for the Terminal Railroad Association, and the world's first barrel-vaulted train station concourse, or "Grand Hall."

A most impressive feature of the Grand Hall is the "Allegorical Window," a hand-made stained glass window with hand-cut Tiffany glass strategically positioned above the Station's main entryway. The window features three women representing the main U.S. train stations during the 1890s -- New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.

The architecture of St. Louis Union Station is an eclectic mix of Romanesque styles. The Station's interior and exterior details are a combination of both Richardsonian Romanesque tradition and French Romanesque or Norman style.

In fact, Link modeled the grandiose Station after Carcassone, a walled, medieval city in southern France. These designs are most evident when entering the Station's Headhouse and the impressive Grand Hall, with its sweeping archways, fresco and gold leaf detailing, scagliola surfaces, mosaics and art glass windows. One can imagine the incredible impression the room created in 1894 on opening day. Today, the Grand Hall continues to awe visitors as the Marriott Hotel's lobby and lounge area

I will share some a few more photographs from Union Station in my next post.
Please do stop by and take a peek at other participants My World submissions this week by clicking MyWorld . I so like seeing what everyone else is up to around the world. Enjoy.

44 comments:

James said...

It's absolutely beautiful, a work of art from another era. Your pictures really do it justice.

Reader Wil said...

How brilliant, and wonderfully decorated! I love the stained glass window! It's a very beautiful example of nineteenth century architecture. Thanks for showing!

Martha Z said...

Beautiful! The old train stations are some of our greatest builings and I love to see them restored and preserved.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Absolutely gorgeous. We are making our first family trip to Saint Louis next week. I'm adding Union Station to our list of must sees.

Snap said...

I've been in Union Station in St. Louis several times and am always amazed at the beauty and grandeur. It still stands, thank goodness. Loved these shots. Thank you!

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

The closeup of the clock is just beautiful with all that intricate molding. Lovely pictures!

Yes, I actually have black and red toile shades for my chandelier. I'll put them on one day and take a pic!

Manuela

Daryl said...

Elegant and somehow reminiscent of Grand Central Station (minus the stained glass) here in NYC

Photo Cache said...

lavish decor, pretty ornate, they don't make it like this nowadays.

www.ewok1993.wordpress.com

Barb said...

Erin, This St Louis station is a marvel. Your photos are incredible!I love the stained glass and the grand staircase under the vaulted ceiling.

Sylvia K said...

What a fantastic building -- no, it's more than that! It is a work of art! And as the others have said, you have captured it beautifully, Erin! Magnificent captures!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

Pagan Sphinx said...

Grand indeed. Your photographs are exceptional, by the way. So glad I visited.

Ishtar said...

Wow! Beautiful images as always, Erin!!

eileeninmd said...

It is a beautiful train station, the stained glass is awesome.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Erin: That is a wonderful structure with so much detail work.

Carver said...

Fascinating post and well illustrated with the photographs.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I have never seen a train station like this....ours are like old pioneer sheds..your photos really show it off.

bettyl said...

Such a magnificent subject to photograph! Wonderful job you did!

Ebie said...

I love its architecture and your shots are beautiful! Perfect composition and lighting! I look forward to more photos!

J Bar said...

It's really beautiful.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Lew said...

That's a grand old building! You have some excellent shots of it. I noticed gas here is under $1.40, but I still have a full tank of the 2.47 gas.

Gaelyn said...

Imagine what it would cost to build such an ornate building today. It's amazing. That barrel vaulted ceiling is great, but I really like the stained glass window the best. If it's a hotel lobby then is it still a railway station?
Great post and captures Erin.

chrome3d said...

The whole building is so full of astonishing views and details that it´s hard to say if there is some detail above another. A very beautiful post in every way.

Arija said...

What a post Erin!!! Spectacular relic of another age so perfectly preserved. Absolutely splendid photos as well. Thanks, that was a truly wonderful experience.

Annie said...

Whew...and I thought Grand Central NY was pretty OK...!!

Just LOVE that Tiffany allegorical window!

And thanks for your visit...to my very ordinary world this week.

Marites said...

so beautiful! and the pictures look like beautiful paintings. love your captures.

susieofarabia said...

What a stunningly beautiful building. Wow!!!

Samson said...

WOW! great capture, your photo's look like painting... thanks for sharing

LadyFi said...

What gauzy dreamy pictures of a magnificent railway hall!

Irene said...

Grandiose and old world beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Merisi said...

Stunning!
Did you sit down in those raspberry colored chairs and enjoy a cup of coffee?

I almost made it to St. Louis, but then we decided that it was not wise to add several hundred miles to our return trip from Chicago to DC. Too bad!

magiceye said...

thank you for the wonderful tour of this lovely station!

Rob Inukshuk said...

What a magnificent structure. Indeed a masterpiece and so good to see that it is still used maintained and appreciated.

Jack and Joann said...

Oh, I like the architecture and those club chairs look so cozy. Neat!

Luiz Ramos said...

Great building and shots.
Luiz Ramos

MedaM said...

I am completely impressed with this magnificent railway hall; what wonderful architectural styles, decorations and details. A hand made stained glass is just stunning. Your photos are breathtaking.

Pam said...

It is a magnificent station. And so elegantly decorated with the stained glass and fabrics. I wouldn't want to leave.

George said...

This is an absolutely gorgeous building. I'm afraid I would do a lot of gawking if I could see it in person. I've been to Grand Central Station in New York, but this is every bit as impressive.

Janie said...

What an amazing and elaborate station. Love the stained glass and vaulted ceilings.

Gill - That British Woman said...

the detail in that building is just lovely, I too love the stained glass window.

Gill in Canada

Hazel said...

awesome work! the allegorical window fascinated me best. it reminds me of europe but it's distinctly american.

uncleawang said...

It's absolutely amazing shot.Wow!!great decorated & great architecture.

Postcards from Wildwood said...

What a beautiful, majestic building. And your photographs are wonderful.
Janice.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

W.O.W! You captured this place perfectly! I do love to visit train stations, especially those with grand architecture like these old historic Union Stations. I've been to the Union Stations in Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C and they were all amazing! But this one in St. Louis tops them all.

Thanks for sharing,
~Lisa

Japa said...

A very grand place to be.