Monday, November 20, 2017

(Photos) The abandoned Union Station in Gary

Last week I visited Detroit. Yesterday I was in Gary, Indiana.

No, I don't have a death wish. I go where few others dare.

As for Gary, it's actually quite popular with urban explorers and unlike Detroit, it's not hostile to them.

Union Station opened in 1910, according to Wikipedia, "Built in a Beaux-Arts style utilizing the new cast-in-place concrete methods in which, after pouring, the concrete was scored to resemble stone." That method, now common, was groundbreaking then.

And it sure does resemble limestone, particularly the Joliet variety commonly used in the Chicago area.

The first photo was taken from the rail bridge over Broadway on the Norfolk Southern tracks.

The architect for Union Station was M.A. Lang.

This is the view from Broadway. Drivers will have great difficulty finding the station, as it's set between the two rail lines that are elevated. But it's easily seen from the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 90) and from the waiting platform from a third rail line, the South Shore Line.

That's the view--with weedy Siberian elms in front--from the east.

I haven't been able to pin down a closing date for Union Station, it was probably in the late 1960s, that was when the commercial intercity passenger rail traffic market was collapsing and when white flight hit Gary.

From the outside Union Station doesn't look too bad. But from the viewing platform--what did I tell you about Gary?--it's a real mess. But keep in mind, this gem hasn't been maintained in five decades.

Also according to Wikipedia, scenes for two movies were filmed here. Appointment With Danger, a 1951 film starring Alan Ladd, and the Gary-set Original Gangstas from 1996. If was also featured in the first season of Life After People.

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