Los Angeles Union Station (formerly Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal)
opened in 1939 to serve five different railways. The station was partially
designed by John and Donald Parkinson, and incorporates a combination of Streamline
Moderne and Mission Revival styles. The structure was built on the site of
what was then the city's Chinatown.
On the opposite side of the track from Union
Station is the Patsaouras Transit Plaza, named for Nick Patsaouras, a former board
member of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.
The clear postmodern architectural intent was
to echo the older station to the west, although the contemporary materials do
not reflect the same air of durability and solidity. In addition, when
confronted with the circular drive, it is not immediately obvious that there
are numbered locations on the drive where specific buses stop. And, as could
be expected, the layout diagrams that are probably completely logical to
designers are totally indecipherable to newcomers.