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Sept. 22: Columbia City

Friday, March 11, 2016

Grand Ol’ Union Station

3/11/16 Union Station
Union Station in Pioneer Square is one of the few buildings in Seattle that I think of as “grand.” Built in 1911, it served as a train station until 1971, then stood mostly wasted for three decades. Finally Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen backed its restoration, and now Union Station is back to its full glory.

Apparently the aptly named grand hall is rented out for weddings and other events in the evenings and weekends, but by day, its main use is to house the offices of Sound Transit. Plenty of chairs and tables are scattered about, and there’s a nice, clean restroom. But other than that, it’s mostly open space – plus that beautiful arched interior.

After talking about it for years, Urban Sketchers Seattle’s Friday group finally met at Union Station this morning. I spent a full hour sketching the interior (note that I even made a tiny thumbnail in the lower-right corner! Sometimes I actually remember to plan before hitting the page)! Since the day had started out cold but dry, I was hoping that by afternoon I could sketch the station’s exterior. I should have gone out in the morning when others had; by the time we shared sketchbooks at 12:30, the rain had begun – and kept on going. I got home drenched, very happy that I had my waterproof Rickshaw bag.

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