Sunday, April 05, 2009
On Foot in San Diego: Union Station
This weekend I decided to check out the old Santa Fe Depot, now called the Union Station, at the recommendation of JoAnne, our medical records librarian. No surprise, I did have my buddy, Jennifer, along for this excursion. I have been trying to imprint the railroad history of San Diego on my brain as the railroad played an important role in the settling and development of the city in the late part of the 1800's and early 1900's. I will let the reader check out those details here.
The morning did not get off to a good start when we found I had forgotten to replace the batteries in Jennifer's camera after recharging. OK, I offered to let her share my SLR if she saw a good shot. Nor did it help that paramedics were working on a young man slumped over at the entrance.
"Did he have a heart attack?", Jennifer wanted to know. No, I told her, more likely drugs.
The interior of the station was beautiful in its grace and simplicity, but it's no Grand Central Station and Jennifer was clearly disappointed. One has to be along in years to appreciate the Mission Revival style, arches, and redwood beams in the ceiling.
On the way around front I found a door I liked. I must say I like these curved arches. Jennifer was thinking out loud, "Not another door".
The original depot, built in 1887 to accommodate the real estate bubble speculating that San Diego would be the terminus of the Atchison,Topeka, and Santa Fe, was Victorian style, red with green trim, complete with a clock tower. With the completion of the Panama Canal and hopes that San Diego would become a thriving port for ships, the Victorian depot was torn down and replaced in 1915 with the Mission Revival style depot in keeping with the architecture of the Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park.
"Next week could we go to the Wild Animal Park to take pictures?" Jennifer asked. That question was not a surprise.