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Thread: Union Station

  1. #1

    Core2shore Union Station

    300 SW 7th
    owner= City of OKC

    Information & Latest News

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  2. #2

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Can't wait to see the pictures. I don't know that I've ever been inside. Great job!
    Oh....and welcome home.

  3. #3

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Thanks so much. I can think of so many cool uses for this building, and am so glad it somehow got "forgotten" and was not subjected to the urban renewal wrecking ball. I can hardly wait to see the photos.

  4. Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    There are a few pics taken by this very nice gentleman, Ed Birch, who worked there before it ceased its rail functionality here ... pics circa 1966-1967: Doug Dawgz Blog: Okc Trains Part 2 ...

    click links for larger pics ...

    http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49...sideunion1.jpg



    http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49...sideunion2.jpg



    http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49...sideunion3.jpg



    This is the area where Ed worked much of the time ...

    http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49...sideunion4.jpg


  5. #5

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I walked all around the outside and it appears that the exterior stonework had been cleaned recently because it looks almost new.

    The front has a series of what looks to original wrought iron gates that opens to a small tiled, courtyard with a a bunch of French doors with curved top lights:



    Look at the great stone work at the entrance:



    They've obviously added this glass vestibule but it could easily be removed -- it's not even used now:



    This is the westside of the building with a nice little courtyard. It's hard to see, but it has the same curved-top French doors and all the stonework and details look tip-top:



    Here are the tracks in the back. Whatever structures were next to tracks are gone and there are just some concrete foundations. Also, there are tons of docks back there, which I guess were used primarily for mail back in the day:





    The eastside with another great little courtyard:





    A couple of plaques from the outside -- you can also get a feel for how good the stone looks on the entire building. I'll see if I can transcribe the last one from a high-res image.




  6. #6

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    On to the interior. I'll start with a photo of the original floorplan, which I may clean-up and relabel later. North is at the top:



    Unfortunately, somewhere along the way they errected a second-floor platform right in the middle of what was the central waiting area. The ceilings in that area are huge, and you can see the original light fixtures and ceiling details:





    This is looking towards the north main entrance:



    This is the far south end of the waiting room with one of the doors out to the east courtyard. Note the great floors:



    The ceilings are fantastic with loads of plaster detail and look to be in great shape:



    This is part of the floor in what was the main waiting area; it appears to be the original terrazzo which runs under all the walls that have been erected:



    This looks to be an original built-in corner seating area. You can see a little of the marble that lines all the perimeter of the waiting room:



    This brownish tile lines lots of the smaller rooms on the perimeter and all of it looks to be in great shape and is nicer in person:



    This is one of back rooms and I think the fireplace is original:


  7. #7

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Wow, great pics. I've seen the outside in person but never had the nerve that you do to ask to go inside. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Here's a couple of the tunnel. Behind the doors at the end appears to be a bunch of storage. But it's lined with the same great marble on the walls and the light fixtures appear to be original. Also, there are three huge skylights above:





    And the original ticket windows:



    Some of the historic photos mounted inside:






  9. #9

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Great pics Pete. Too bad COPTA has not kept it up to the care this building deserves. Hopefully the city will see the value of preserving this building and purchase it in the near future and use it for the good of the public once again.

  10. #10

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    The building was owned by a private company (Thurman Magbee) for a while before the city reacquired it and put COPTA in there. I think it was the private owner that put up all the walls so they could try and make use of those big rooms.

    I think COPTA has just taken over part of the space they had used and hasn't touched much. But it's pretty junky in there.


    I think this building has the potential to be one of the most important in all of OKC. It's position in Core 2 Shore and the fantastic amount of historic detail, plus all the large rooms suitable for gatherings and perhaps art displays mean that it could be put to great use where lots of citizens would see it on a regular basis.

    As much as everyone loves the Great Banking Hall, I was actually more impressed with Union Station.

  11. #11

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    There's lots of potential there. I'd love to see a Tavern on the Green type restaurant in there.

  12. #12

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Great pictures, Pete. There are several good pix but for some reason when I got to the one with the ticket windows, it almost gave me goosebumps. I could just feel the people lined up at the window and the bustling about.

    I am with you about the potential of this building being a premier attraction in Oklahoma City. It's location within the C2S and park plan will make it a future showplace.

    Thank you for taking the time to actually go in and take the pictures. It's obvious you're making the most of your time here. Hope you're enjoying it.

  13. #13

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I like the picture of the tunnel that leads to the tracks. I could almost see the people coming and going with their suitcases in their hands.

  14. #14

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I’ve always called Union Station the Frisco Station because of one winter night in 1952. My Uncle Louis from St Louis came to visit us, and he took the Frisco “Meteor”. We met him at the station and drove to El Charitos in the Paseo for dinner. I was only six years old, but I remember the steam from the locomotive, men wearing fedoras and the smell of enchiladas, beans and rice.
    Thank you for all the great photos. The cobwebs that cover my memories are reeling.

    I too believe this building will be the defining jewel of Core to Shore.

  15. #15

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I totally agree. I can't wait for the Post Office to be torn down so that Union Station is more visible to everyone. Is it a foregone conclusion that the city will purchase the Post Office or is their a chance that someone could outbid the city for this property?

  16. Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Wow! What a cool looking place!

  17. #17

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Thanks for the pics, Pete. With a bit of work, it could really shine again.

  18. #18

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Council OKs 1st purchase of Core to Shore landby Brian Brus
    The Journal Record March 5, 2008

    OKLAHOMA CITY � City council members approved the acquisition Tuesday of the first new parcel of land in the planned development of Oklahoma City�s core when the Interstate 40 crosstown is moved south.


    The council unanimously agreed to purchase the U.S. Postal Service main city branch, 320 S.W. Fifth St., for more than $3.68 million. The council also cleared the immediate use of $50,000 in earnest money to secure the deal. The purchase will be funded by general obligation bond proceeds.

    The Transportation Department has started building about three miles of a new I-40 route closer to the Oklahoma River and plans to release the old crosstown to development. City leaders have dubbed the area Core to Shore and have proposed setting aside 10-15 blocks of it for a city park.
    City planners are trying to synchronize the park�s development with the lowering of the current I-40 bridge to ground level as a new city boulevard, which is projected for 2014. The post office property would likely be near the center of the park.

    Early examples of the direction the park might take include the 25-acre Millennium Park in Chicago, sections of the massive Central Park in Manhattan, and the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Those parks often have multiple, concurrent community events throughout the year.

    Assistant City Manager Cathy O�Connor said city staff will submit the offer to the Postal Service for consideration. Council members first authorized the sale negotiations in September. If the deal proceeds as expected, closing will occur by June 30.

    O�Connor said the city already owned several properties near I-40 before the realignment was announced.

  19. #19

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I saw that article last week. I was just wondering if there was any way someone else would bid on the property and hold the city hostage over it for more money.
    That is one of my fears for all of the Core to Shore land that is currently held privately. I would hate to think we could run into a situation where there was a crummy warehouse in the middle of our new park because someone wanted a great sum of money for it and refused to sell.

  20. #20

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    I think if all else fails the city could use eminent domain to solve the problem.

  21. #21

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Here's a photo looking due north out of the main entrance and you can see the very top of Chase Tower and First National Center. Once the postal facility is converted to an open park, the skyline view will look more like the third picture, taken from the N/S street just east of US:






  22. #22

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Quote Originally Posted by CCOKC View Post
    I saw that article last week. I was just wondering if there was any way someone else would bid on the property and hold the city hostage over it for more money.
    That is one of my fears for all of the Core to Shore land that is currently held privately. I would hate to think we could run into a situation where there was a crummy warehouse in the middle of our new park because someone wanted a great sum of money for it and refused to sell.
    It's called emminent domain, the city has already used it for some C2S land if I'm not mistaken and I'm sure they'll use it again for this area if they have to. I'm almost certain they came out and said that a few years back after the first talk of relocating I-40.

  23. #23

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Pete, You are right that once the P.O. is gone that will make an excellent skyline view. And I can't help but imagine that view from Union Station in 15 years. Your pics have been great, though that last one reminds me how much I hate overhead electrical lines.

  24. #24

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    The good news is that everything around US can be easily acquired and converted to parkland or other community use. Besides that postal facility, it's all junk yards and vacant lots.

    I never really grasped the potential of this area until yesterday. I'm really glad our civic leaders are so out in front of making something happen there that we all can be really proud of.

    And I think the any OKC resident would have their socks absolutely knocked off to discover a renovated and cleaned up Union Station. I bet the huge majority have no idea it's even there, let alone the underlying beauty.

    One of the many cool things about that building is there is the huge former waiting room which would be great for all types of events and then a smaller, similar space right next to it that could house a full-time restaurant. They could also put some tables out on covered front patio in the summer months that would look right across the new C2S park and offer great views of the skyline.

  25. #25

    Default re: Union Station - Transit Complaints

    Yes, if one goes out and drives the Core to Shore area, the whole concept is rather breathtaking. Just for fun, drive to the Myriad Gardens and head south to the river, imagining the scope of the new park. It's really impressive. I wish I could wait for the townhouses that will be built along the park, but I don't want to wait that long, and I suspect the prices on them will be out of sight.

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