National Visitor Center

Union Station Model

Model of the proposed parking garage and redesigned Union Station as a National Visitor Center.

Transverse Section of Union Station

Cross-section of the Union Station Complex under the National Visitor Center design. This was part of the plans and was not all completed. 

With train travel dwindling in the 1960s after peaking during World War II, Union Station was in need of a facelift and the Federal government decided to use this as an opportunity to create a visitor center to the capital city. This was completed for the 1976 bicenntial and remained open for two years. However, it failed to be as successful as many had hoped and a new plan was drawn up to ensure Union Station's continuation as Washington's transportation hub.

Central Hall of National Visitor Center

Sketch drawings of the Main Hall as it would appear during its two year run as the National Visitor Center.

Union Station Esplanade

Design concept of the area between the Main Hall and the rail terminal loading area. This would be redesigned in the 1980s as part of the redevelopment completed in 1988.

Union Station Layout 1976-1978

1976-1978 floorplan layout of the completed National Visitor Center redesign for Union Station.