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In many ways my decision to be an urban planner allowed me to understand the forces that promote—and impede—successful public spaces.
"The loss of the building was a great loss but it such an obvious loss that it helped the city in the long run," Robinson says.
"People suddenly realized that New York could tear down things it should never have torn down." The current Penn Station is certainly an eyesore, especially compared with its classic predecessor, but its own destruction may occur in the not-so-distant future.
Some of my fondest memories of Union Station stem from the initial impressions—and expressions—I would witness while my tour group assembled on Saturday mornings.
A few were tourists visiting the station for the first time.
Chávez) into downtown and exiting at Alameda Street, near the grand entrance to Union Station.
I was in constant awe of the building and the city surrounding it.
I have witnessed how Union Station facilitates personal interactions in the middle of the day, when strangers ask me how to transfer to the Metro Gold Line, so they may visit their new grandson at a local hospital.
I have seen this late at night, while walking past entire families waiting in front of the station looking for a place to relax, celebrate, and share the excitement of a hometown win on their way back from Dodger Stadium.
"These are obviously not the days when great historic railway stations get built," says Robinson.
, featuring eight written and five photographic essays that celebrate the station by authors John C. Estrada, Stephen Fried, Rafer Guzman, David Kipen, Marisela Norte, D. Union Station: Los Angeles’ Enduring Symbol of Civic Optimism by John C.