Landmark 1911 railway station with Romanesque architecture and striking copper dome. Now a federal courthouse with public rotunda exhibit of extraordinary glass sculpture by internationally-acclaimed Tacoma native Dale Chihuly.
Built in 1911, Union Station began as a grand tribute to the prosperity the Northern Pacific Railroad brought to Tacoma. The landmark, domed depot was designed by Reed & Stem, the architects who created New York's Grand Central Station. When it opened, Union Station was proclaimed the grandest building north of San Francisco, its massive Romanesque revival architecture topped by a magnificent copper dome.
The station served rail passengers until 1983, when Amtrak moved its operations east of downtown. Then in 1988 Union Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and complete renovations began. All was restored to its original splendor at a total cost of $57 million, plus a new a Federal Courthouse wing was added. Union Station reopened on May 15, 1992, its historic rotunda open and free to the public. Currently it exhibits dramatic glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly, including one of his signature chandeliers hanging in the center of the rotunda.