Union Stain: A Beaux Arts Building

Today’s video is about the Union Station in Burlington, Vermont. Its name comes from the fact that the Rutland Railroad and the Central Vermont Railroad joined forces and paid to have this station built. The city of Burlington also put money towards it.

“The Union Station building is located at 1 Main Street in Burlington, Vermont. The building, last used by the Rutland Railroad as a railroad passenger station in 1953, is owned by Main Street Landing Company and houses offices and art studios.[1]

The nearest intercity train service to Burlington is currently Amtrak’s Vermonter, which stops about eight miles (13 km) east at Essex Junction. However, plans are underway to extend the Ethan Allen Express from Rutland to Union Station by July 2022.[2]

The Vermont Rail System operates scheduled excursion trains from the railroad platform behind the building, via its “Green Mountain Railroad” subsidiary.

Former Service:

The former Burlington Union Depot opened in 1867 near what is now the northwest corner of the College Street and Lake streets. The depot served as the passenger station for the Vermont Central and Vermont and Canada railroads’.[3]

The structure was built of brick on a granite foundation. It was 204 feet (62 m) long from south to north and 88 feet (27 m) wide, which allowed it to straddle three north–south tracks. The train shed was open at the north and south ends, with walls 27 feet (8.2 m) high, an arched roof and tall, narrow, arched windows. Each of the four corners featured a 2-story, 11-foot (3.4 m) square tower, for storage and ornamentation.[3]

The former site of Union Depot is now occupied by part of the lawn at Waterfront Park; the Island Line Trail for biking and walking; the current train track; the red-roofed information building for tourists and part of a parking lot for Main Street Landing.[3]

Burlington Union Station opened on January 23, 1916.[3] The building was built by the Central Vermont Railway and the Rutland Railroad at cost of between $150,000 and $200,000, including $15,000 from the City of Burlington, and was designed by New York architect Alfred Fellheimer with Charles Schultz as supervising architect. The W. Shelton Swallow Company of New York was the general contractor.[4]

Union Station is built of tan-colored brick and limestone trim. The underlying structure is steel and reinforced concrete. Vermont marble was used extensively inside. Contrasting with the romantic, heavier-looking, darker brick depot, its style is fairly-simple, very symmetrical Beaux Arts. The three-bay, central entry is topped by a low-pitched pediment, with five-bay wings on either side. Pilasters define each bay.[3]

From the street, passengers entered through the eastern doors directly into the 30-by-75-foot (9.1 m × 22.9 m) main waiting room. The tracks were on the west, one flight down, at the ground-floor level. An enclosed bridge projected west from the building. From there, staircases led down to the tracks, so that passengers would not have to walk across them. Two long shelters ran between the train tracks, over the platforms.[3]

Union Station served rail travelers for only 37 years, mainly on the Rutland Railroad’s Green Mountain Flyer and its night-train counterpart, the Mount Royal. The station was closed in 1953 when, due to a strike, the Rutland Railroad terminated all of its passenger operations.[3][5]

In 1955, Green Mountain Power Corporation transformed the building into office space.[3]

Between 2000 and 2003, the remaining platform behind the former station was the terminus of the Champlain Flyer commuter rail route, operated between Charlotte and Burlington.[6] The train however, never attracted the ridership that was hoped for and, in 2002, it was cut from the next year’s state budget.[7] Governor Jim Douglas decided that the train was not viable, and the last train ran on February 28, 2003.[8]

Current Service:

The platform behind Union Station currently serves as a terminus for the Champlain Valley Flyer: a scheduled passenger excursion train that is operated by the Green Mountain Railroad: a subsidiary of the State-owned Vermont Railway system.[citation needed]

Planned Future Service :

A multi-year effort to extend Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express passenger train from Rutland to Burlington is expected to be implemented by July 2022.[9] This would provide direct rail service to Pennsylvania Station in New York City.[6]

VTrans and NYSDOT have also studied a potential second train between Albany and Burlington: one routed through Mechanicville, New York, North Bennington, Vermont, and Manchester, Vermont. This could be an extended Empire Service train, thus forming another New York City—Burlington route alongside the extended Ethan Allen Express.[10][11]

The Building Today:

The Union Station building is currently owned by Main Street Landing Company. Most of the large main waiting room on the Main Street level is divided into offices, rented by the state of Vermont Agency of Transportation, arts organizations and studios, the Christian Science Monitor, the Lake Champlain Land Trust, fitness clubs, the Vermont Association for Justice and others.[3]

Four steel statues of winged monkeys adorn the roof of Union Station. Created by artist Steve Larrabee, the monkeys were originally commissioned in 1976 for a local waterbed store, named “Emerald City” after the capital city of the fictional Land of Oz. The two original monkey statues from the store, along with two statues of monkey children, rest on the roof of the former train station, while two more recent statues are located on the roof of the nearby Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center.[12]”-https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Burlington,_Vermont)

Union Station is located in Burlington, Vermont at the foot of Main Street. Due to its position, its address is 1 Main Street.

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