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2005 04 02
Union Station-Part 4
imageThey all converged at Union Station, child evacuees with notes pinned to their chests, sent from London to escape the Blitz; soldiers with the draft letter in their pockets; ambulance trains crammed with the wounded. From Union Station, German soldiers were shipped to POW camps in northern Ontario; reinforcements were sent overseas. All on journeys in which there is no arrival.

So much grief and hope rushed into the immense station, and passed through that gateway into the city.

All great train stations, with their immaculately proportioned, immense inner spaces, their impossible combination of heaviness and light, serve both as an assertion of the greatness of the city one is about to enter, and as a final reminder of the greatness of the city one is about to depart. Gare D’Orsay, Grand Central, Victoria, Milan.

Union Station’s magnitude and scale, the choice of materials – declare a splendid civic pride, the confidence of a city big enough in every way to live up to such a gateway. It was built with the self-assurance that the world would come to us. And for many years, the world continued to arrive through those gates. Even the humble CNR lunch counter made a kind of history, with its menu in nine languages.
[email this story] Posted by Anne Michaels on 04/02 at 08:42 AM

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