LAUSHS Exhibit AT UNION STATION TRAIN FEST
An estimated crowd of 15,000 train supporters and families visited LA Union Station's 2nd Annual Train Fest on July 14, 2018.
Despite some early confusion about how big the Los Angeles Union Station Historical Society exhibit was going to be this year, space was ultimately organized thanks to Board Member Sue MacAdams, Volunteer David Coscia and METRO Exhibit Manager Emily Silverman.
As the throngs passed by our exhibit, LAUSHS members, including Executive Director and exhibit designer Tom Savio, have filled questions about Union Station's history and METRO's future plans for the historical landmark. Retired Councilman and early supporter of LAUSHS, Tom LaBonge gave our exhibit high marks. One visitor, who self-identified as "blind", was given the chance to "see" our model of Union Station with his hands using museum gloves as a guard against finger marks.
This year, we began to write the captions in Spanish as well as English. We will continue this for future exhibitions since the station is a premier Hispanic-style icon.
What We've Been Doing in 2017
Much of what has occupied the LAUSHS Board of Directors in 2017 has been the fight against the encroachment of tacky commercial development around Union Station, particularly the new Bike Hub near the Cesar Chavez entrance to our nationally recognized historic landmark.
LAUSHS generally supports alternative transportation modes that are environmentally friendly and integrate well with train travel, and bicycle transport is one of these. However, the new Bike Hub that consists of semi-protected storage for some 200 bikes and a commercial bike shop is housed in an inappropriately modernistic shelter that even its architects refer to as a "barn" or "shed" style building -- sited next to Los Angeles' signature Hispanic-style "Cathedral of Transportation" -- required your Board to speak up. Speaking up for Union Station is what we have been doing continuously since this past May when the Bike Hub building began construction.
Despite of the fact that LA Metro, Union Station's owner, promised your Board in 2016 that it would be consulted on new construction at Union Station, we were never consulted about the Bike Barn until a member happened upon the contractor's billboard. What followed was weeks of unanswered enquires about the nature of the project. When LA Metro finally agreed to meet with us, the modernistic structure was nearly completed. The Bike Barn has been esthetically likened to a dog kennel and a Home Depot tool shed!
Currently, the Bike Barn's commercial activities have been cited by the LA City Building & Safety Department for being out of compliance with the Building Code. This has all taken place despite LA Mayor, and Metro Board Director, Eric Garcetti, stating publicly that all new construction at Union Station should "blend" with its historic Hispanic style!
So, if LAUSHS seems slow in updating its website, please be patient.