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Denver Union Station Reborn: A Pictorial Pique

A century after its debut, the facade of Union Station looks the same as it did in its heyday.

With light-rail, bus and Amtrak service, the station is again the city's transportation hub.

The original Union Station at 17th and Wynkoop opened in 1881.

Opening in 1914, today's structure is actually the third Union Station.

At its peak, Union Station was served by six railroads and 80 trains a day.

The four-year redevelopment project involved painstaking restoration of the Great Hall.

It's a whole new world in the Great Hall.

The Great Hall dazzles on opening day.

Ornate chandeliers replaced the preceding fluorescent lighting.

Union Station Development partners at at the opening gala.

The Railbenders perform at the opening bash.

Thousands attended the opening-day festivities.

Amtrak continues to stop at Union Station on its California Zephyr route.

The canopy on the rail platform harks to the architecture at Denver International Airport.

The new station includes shops, restaurants, bars and The Crawford Hotel.

Behind the scenes, the historic clock is lit by compact fluorescent bulbs.

Kids frolic in the new fountains on opening day.

Jackalope taxidermy handpicked by NINE dot ARTS decorates a room at The Crawford Hotel.

In the Great Hall, shuffleboard play gets serious on opening day.

A restored 1930s neon sign hangs behind the bar at The Kitchen Next Door.

Semple Brown took cues from Union Station's history in its design of The Kitchen Next Door.

The Terminal Bar is housed in the station's onetime mailroom.

The Terminal Bar has become an immediate local's favorite.

Lui Ferreyra's octopus mural grabs your attention at Stoic & Genuine.

The retailers are handpicked, including 5 Green Boxes, puveyors of bunnies, baby heads and other offbeat decor.

There are 22 underground bus gates at the new transit center.

There is plenty more development underway in the Union Station neighborhood.

Feast your eyes on Denver Union Station, at once historic and brand new after a $500 million redevelopment project. The grand opening on July 26 was 100 years after the main building opened in in 1914.
The first Union Station opened in Lower Downtown Denver in May 1881. It lasted 13 years before a fire burned it to the ground.

The second Union Station lasted a little longer -- from 1894 to 1912 -- before crews demolished it to make way for the Beaux-Arts-style structure that opened in 1914.

A century later, the place is looking better than ever, thanks to an ambitious redevelopment project that culminated in its grand opening on Sat. July 26.

Thousands flocked to the grand dame for opening day, and a line for entry into the stunning Great Hall snaked down Wynkoop Street, as the bars and restaurants poured beers and filled plates, and Denver got a first look at its brand-new -- but century-old -- living room in the heart of the city.

But plenty more is yet to come: The long-moribund blocks to the west of the station are alive with construction, and a full-fledged neighborhood -- complete with 2,000 apartments, 100,000 square feet of retail space and 15 acres of plaza and parks -- is quickly coming to life.

Read more articles by Eric Peterson.

Eric is a Denver-based tech writer and guidebook wiz. Contact him here.
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