Union Station opened in 1907. At that time, it was the largest train station in the world and displayed a grandeur that is reflected in later designs of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.
At times the Station employed over 5,000 people and provided such amenities as a bowling alley, mortuary, hotel, police station and, because US Presidents traveled by train in those days, a Presidential Suite.
For half a century, Union Station served Washington and the U.S. as a major center of transportation and a venue for historic events. However, with the advent of air travel it began to fall into disuse and disrepair.
In 1981, by act of Congress, a public/private partnership was formed to restore the building to its original state and create a viable mixed-use transportation center. Today, the Station houses over 130 unique shops and restaurants, and is the hub for Amtrak's headquarters. It continues to make history, hosting world-class exhibitions and events.