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Union Station Tacoma

Tacoma Tourist Attractions--Architecture and Dale Chihuly Art Installations

 

Completed 1911          Restored 2003.

1715 Pacific Avenue--Tacoma

Note: the Station is a federal building and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is closed on weekends.

Union Station Tacoma

A view from the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

 

INDEX FOR OUR UNION STATION MATERIAL

Current Page Architecture
Photo Gallery Page 1 Dale Chihuly Art Installations--
Monarch Window
Photo Gallery Page 2 Dale Chihuly Art Installations--Other

 

ARCHITECTURE

One of the most beautiful historic buildings in the entire Puget Sound area is the Union Station building in Tacoma.  Opened in 1911, this majestic structure with its copper-domed roof and 90-foot central dome makes a dramatic statement from the outside and inside.

This Beaux-Arts masterpiece was built to give fast-growing Tacoma a large, well-designed train terminal.  It was impressive when it was built and it still gleams in the Tacoma skyline. 

History was not kind to the structure.  Train passenger traffic peaked in the 1930's and began to decline.  The last train left from the station in 1984.  The building was abandoned and deteriorated rapidly. 

Union Station Tacoma

A view from the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

 

The building's story was not over by a long shot.  The US Federal court system needed expanded court room space and the Government Services Agency executed a 35-year lease of the building.  Following an extensive three-year renovation and the addition of more court room space, the Union Station building was once again a  handsome and functional structure.

Union Station Tacoma

A View from Pacific Avenue

 

INTERIOR

Even without the Dale Chihuly installations, the interior is a jaw-dropper.  Its 90-foot high domed ceiling overlooks a dramatic rotunda. The dome is capped by a skylight..  The restoration brought back the luster of this dazzling interior.

 

DALE CHIHULY ART INSTALLATIONS

For art fans and Dale Chihuly art lovers, the interior of the Station is graced with five Chihuly installations.  The most dramatic of the installations is the "Monarch Window", a 22 by 40 foot work featuring 25 impressions of monarch butterflies.  This window always lends a bright glow to the interior.  Take your time to savor all of the installations.  They make quite a statement and really complement the architectural beauty of the Station. 

Union Station Tacoma Interior

 

Union Station Tacoma Dome

The dramatic skylight in the dome.

 

Union Station Tacoma Chihuly Installation

Monarch Window by Dale Chihuly (22 feet by 40 feet)

 

Please click here to go to page one of the Photo Gallery showing details of the Monarch Window installation

Please click here to go to page two of the Photo Gallery showing views of the other four Chihuly installations in Union Station

Please click here to go to Tacoma Attractions