Then & Now: Washington Union Station 106 Years Apart

In this special post, I have combined one of Lewis Reed’s original photograph’s for “then” and matched it with a corresponding contemporary shot for “now” to see how the location has changed or remained nearly the same through the years. I started doing this as a research tool, now I mostly do it because of my passion for history and fascination with the subject. In the following photographs, you can see the difference 106 years can make.

Washington Union Station (THEN): Seen in the black & white photograph taken by Lewis Reed in 1912, is Union Station in Washington, DC. Union Station is one of the country’s first great union railroad terminals. Designed by renowned architect, Daniel Burnham, the station opened on October 27, 1907 and was completed in April 1908. At the height of its traffic, during World War II, as many as 200,000 passengers passed through the station in a single day. Today, Union Station is one of the busiest rail facilities and shopping destinations in the United States, and is visited by over 40 million people a year.

Visible in both photos is the Columbus Fountain also known as the Columbus Memorial which serves as a tribute to the explorer Christopher Columbus. The fountain sits in the center of the Columbus traffic circle in front of Union Station.

Union Station Washington DC

Washington Union Station, 1912. Photo by Lewis Reed

Washington Union Station (NOW): The same view over a century later. The difference? Color.

Union Station Washing DC 1912

Washington Union Station today

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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