Union Station Restoration Project Overview

The extensive restoration of Union Station is underway to repair significant damage caused by the August 23 earthquake. The 5.8 Richter Scale earthquake, the most violent recorded quake to strike Washington, D.C., caused sections of ceiling plaster to crumble and break free from the Main Hall and Concourse area.

All station operations and businesses will continue as normal during the eight to 10 month project, which will take place in the Main Hall, adjoining ticketing Concourse area and lower-level food court. Union Station has prepared a restoration plan to return the iconic structure to its previous grandeur, while limiting the public impacts during process. As a thriving transportation hub and commercial space, an estimated 100,000 individuals use Union Station daily, with an estimated 20,000 passing through the Main Hall.

Steps have and will continue to be taken to protect the safety of employees, tenants, travelers and visitors, and to reduce confusion and hassle. Extensive way-finding signage has been posted throughout the affected areas to minimize disruptions and inconveniences.

We encourage visitors and travelers to add 15 minutes to their trip to Union Station and allow sufficient time to arrive at their point of departure.

Further information for those traveling on Amtrak can be found by the following this link: http://www.amtrak.com/

Media Resources
Photos, Video & Plans


Press Releases & Advisories

Restoration Timeline
As work progresses, additional milestones will be highlighted:

  • August 23: Earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale causes sections of ceiling plaster to crumble and break free from the Main Hall and Concourse area.
  • August 23-24: Union Station conducted a thorough evaluation of the damage.
  • August 24-October 28: Workers cleared the fallen plaster and cordoned off the affected area. Specifically to ensure no one passed under the ceiling damage, rope-and-stanchion was placed well outside the perimeter of the potential drop zone.
  • October 28: Despite extensive efforts to remove or secure damaged plaster, a small piece of plaster fell from the ceiling and glanced off a restaurant worker, causing no significant injury. Union Station took immediate action, closing the Main Hall until an above-head protective net could be hung throughout the entire expanse of the Main Hall.
  • October 30: The Main Hall reopened and has since been open to the public without incident.
  • November: Workers began erecting scaffold in the Concourse during overnight hours to reduce impacts on the public.
  • December: Moving scaffold erected in the Main Hall.

Union Station History & Facts
Frequently Asked Questions About the Restoration
Floor Plans
Photo/Film Authorization Form

Section 106
The Union Station restoration project also will address other elements of the terminal in need of maintenance or repair. Consultation is being carried out pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 470), because Union Station, built from 1903_1908, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The Consulting Party Meeting took place on July 20, 2011.

You may view the entire presentation and post comments by clicking here: http://usrcdc.com/106_assessment_effect.php. Be sure to also scroll down to the bottom of page to view Appendix 4 Drawings, Preferred Design Alternative.