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Volume 3 Number 6

"All Aboard!" at Union Station

February 14, 1896

Station Opens Today

First train goes out tonight

Portland, Ore. - Should no hitch occur in the arrangements which were made yesterday, the new Grand Central Railroad Station will be thrown open at 1 p.m. today by the Northern Pacific Terminal Company. There still remain a few things to be done, such as converting the five tracks into the main line in the south end of the station yard, and putting in place some of the lighting fixtures. This work, however, will not prevent the station being used. So much has already been said in praise of this magnificent depot that it is needless to do more than contrast the facilities and accommodations of this new station with those of the old.

The building will be thrown open for the inspection of the public between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. today and tomorrow, and tonight it is intended to send the first train out of it. Early today the officials of the old station, with the help of others, will remove the furniture and other contents of the old building to the new and by noon it is expected that men will be at work at tearing down what yet remains of the old wooden structure which has served for so many years. Finest West of St. Louis

The opening of this magnificent building, the finest west of St. Louis, is the culmination of many years of thought and study. The original scheme for a new station in this city was a part of the Northern Pacific Company's plan at the time that road was built.

The idea of building the depot was temporarily abandoned at the time Villard secured his connection with the road. Many years were then allowed to elapse before the question of building the station was again revived. About seven years ago it was taken up by the Northern Pacific Terminal Company, which set architects to work and has carried the undertaking to a successful and satisfactory completion. The first studies and plans of the architects underwent numerous modifications, owing to the changed conditions of the yard and variations of the general scheme.

The piling and foundations were put in about 1890, but it was not until the summer of 1892 that the final conclusion was reached in regard to the superstructure. This delay grew out of embarrassments caused by the unsatisfactory financial condition of the various roads, namely the receivership troubles of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, followed by those of the Union Pacific and the later complications with the Northern Pacific.

The style of the station and annex is Italian Renaissance. The structures are of pressed brick, with gray sandstone trimmings and panels of stucco. The whole has been built at an outlay exceeding $300,000, $60,000 of which was expended on work underground in piling and foundation.
~extracted from The Oregonian by Bridget Smith, editor.


This edition of the Historical Gazette was published to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Union Station appearing "hot off the press" at the Rail Fair (May 10, 11 & 12, 1996). A party was held at the station by the Portland Development Commission (PDC) with the help of Metropolitan Events. One of our advertisers for this edition, Gunderson, was a major sponsor. Another major sponsor was H. Bill Naito. His inspiration and sponsorship of this edition of the Historical Gazette provided the budget and motivation to garner other sponsors. This publication would never have happened had he not encouraged us to contact the PDC and others.

Our front page told the story of the day. Two archival quality photos adorn the front page and another photograph illustrates Page Two of our printed edition. The piano bar at the Union Station continued to have this edition on hand for years as they had an ad in this edition. You can read more about Henry Villard in our Oregon Trail edition Trains Roll Emigrants Westward.


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Historical Gazette