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Press Releases

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04/03/2020

New Haven Union Station is One Hundred Years Old

 

New Haven Union Station is One Hundred Years Old

 

Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Mayor Justin Elicker, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro and Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti and other federal, state and city officials today commemorated the 100th anniversary of the opening of New Haven Union Station – the beaux-arts masterpiece that is the jewel of the New Haven commuter rail line.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designed by noted American architect Cass Gilbert, Union Station opened on April 5, 1920, with its ornate ceilings, elegant chandeliers, a grand clock suspended from the ceiling, and long oak benches in the cavernous waiting room brightly illuminated by high, arched windows.

The Governor and other officials also praised the hard work and dedication of transit workers on the front lines and behind the scenes, as Connecticut works through the ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic has subsided, officials are planning a more celebratory event at the station to mark the station’s “birthday.” That will include the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the station’s centennial. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 12-thousand commuters and other travelers used the station each day.

“Union Station is as alive today as it was a hundred years ago, and few stations in the country are as magnificent as this one,” said Governor Lamont. “Most of the time, we are rushing through the station to make a train. It is wonderful to take a moment to admire and appreciate this great edifice.”

“While in this midst of this unprecedented crisis, it’s important to take a moment to step back and think about our history,” said Mayor Elicker. “Today we are not just celebrating the 100th anniversary of Union Station. We are celebrating the important place this building holds in the history and life of New Haven. It is among the busiest rail facilities in the state of Connecticut on one of the busiest rail lines in the United States - transporting more than 125,000 passengers on weekdays and 40 million a year, and generating nearly $50 million of revenue into our local economy each year. Union Station is so much more than a building, it is a gateway to  our great city and a centerpiece of its evolution in the century to come." 

“Union Station holds a special place in my heart,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “I am lucky to have grown up just down the road in Wooster Square—traveling back and forth through the station’s Grand Hall every day to get to school at Lauralton Hall. I especially adored the model trains on the long benches. I still do to this day as I pass through—too many times to count in the past 30 years on my way to Washington or coming back home. My thanks go out to all the workers who keep Union Station running every day—especially those declared essential at this difficult time.” 

“For 100 years, Union Station has been a cornerstone for transit in Connecticut. This magnificent hub has kept riders in New England moving for a century now. I'm excited to see what the future brings,” said Senator Murphy.

“Union Station is a historic treasure and pivotal transit hub — powering economic development for the entire state,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Millions yearly start or finish personally momentous journeys there, with memories that make this station historic in their own lives.  I’ll continue fighting for federal investment in rail transportation, making Union Station all the more important in the next 100 years.

“New Haven’s Union Station is one of Connecticut’s architectural jewels.” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “Its rich history and its ability to continue providing reliable service to millions of people--both local commuters and visitors from around the globe—is what makes Union Station a true treasure. As we proudly celebrate its centennial, we also thank the transit workers across our state for their dedicated service.”

“A railroad station connects us and keeps us moving forward,” said Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti. “This one tells a story. It is the story of a railroad system that has come through New Haven for more than 150 years. For the last 100 years, Union Station has been a familiar, welcoming junction where literally millions of people have embarked on journeys and come home again.”

Union Station connects the New Haven Line running into New York City, the Hartford Line heading north to Hartford and Springfield, and Shoreline East, which goes east to New London. It is also one of the key links on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, from Boston to Washington and points beyond.

Architect Cass Gilbert also designed the U.S. Supreme Court building, several state capitols, public libraries and museums, and the famed Woolworth building in Manhattan.

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