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Officials Celebrate Union Station's 100th Birthday

Plaque commemorating 100th birthday of Union Station

Union Station in New Haven opened 100 years ago and a celebration was held this afternoon to honor its history.

Union Station opened on April 5, 1920 and officials commemorated the anniversary in April, but postponed a celebratory event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which started affecting the state in March.

The current Union Station was built to replace the former Union Station, which burned on May 9, 1918, according to the National Register of Historical Places.

Union Station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was  designed by American architect Cass Gilbert, who also designed the U.S. Supreme Court building; state capitols in Minnesota,Arkansas and West Virginia; public libraries and museums; and the Woolworth building in Manhattan, which was the tallest building in the world at the time.

"The primary significance of Union Station is its history as the central station and home office for the once preeminent New Haven Railroad during a period of rail dominance as a transportation means," the record on the National Register of Historic Places says.

Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and other federal, state, and local officials took part in a celebration at 1 p.m. today and a plaque for the centennial was unveiled.

The governor has also signed a letter of intent on a Union Station partnership., which includes a new lease and funding agreement between the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the City of New Haven to last 35 years, with two 10-year extension options that will allow the city to lease and operate the Union Station Transportation Campus and staff the partnership, according to the governor's office.

A statement from the governor's office says that plans call for the revamping of the basement, first, and second floors of the station to allow for new retail options as well as improvements to stairs, elevators, and escalators; and establishment of an executive oversight panel that will be responsible for strategic planning, annual budget direction, major issue resolution, and redevelopment of the station campus.

You can read the letter of intent here.

Look Back in History

Here is a glimpse at history when Union Station was built:

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