Sunday, May 17, 2020

Denver Union Station and the Crawford Hotel



Denver Union Station is the main railway station and central transportation hub in Denver, Colorado. It is located at 17th and Wynkoop Streets in the present-day Lower Downtown (LoDo) district and includes the historic terminal building, a train shed, a 22-gate underground bus facility, and light rail station,



The station was first opened on the site on June 1, 1881, but burnt down in an electrical fire in 1894. The current structure was erected in two stages, with an enlarged central portion completed in 1914. In 2012, the station underwent a major renovation transforming it into the centerpiece of a new transit-oriented mixed-use development built on the site's former railyards.  

Please click on photo collage to enlarge

During World War II eighty trains passed through Union Station daily, but by the 1980s train travel had decreased and there were only two trains passing through daily.  Now, Union Station is also the transportation hub for The Mile High City, offering access to RTD's front-range bus route, the free 16th Street Mall shuttle, the free Downtown Denver Circulator, the FasTracks light rail line, and Amtrak trains.  Rail Service is available between Union Station and Denver International Airport (DEN) with six stops in between. It takes about 37 minutes to get from the airport to downtown at a cost of $10.50 each way (with discounts available).


In 2012, the station underwent a 54 million major renovation transforming it into the centerpiece of a new transit-oriented mixed-use development built on the site's former railyards. The station house reopened in the summer of 2014, hosting the 112-room Crawford Hotel, several restaurants and retailers, and a train hall.




The main Great Hall is very impressive in its romanesque revival style.


It is filled with comfortable couches, benches, tables, and chairs for train travelers.  A florist, bar area, many retail shops, and eateries and fine restaurants.  It is a destination for many locals as well as travelers and is affectionately referred to as "Denver's Living Room."



Also, inside the center of Union Station's Great Hall is The Shuffleboard Platform. The Platform holds two beautiful handcrafted “Fritzi” Shuffleboards that may be rented individually for small groups up to 30 or in addition to a larger event taking place in the Great Hall.



Some of the many beautiful architectural details inside Denver Union Station




The Crawford Hotel's main desk is located within the Great Hall.  The hotel offers tours of Union Station on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1 p.m. and most other days at 4 p.m. Tours are $20 per person and a portion of the proceeds benefit The Crawford’s Dollars For Dreams non-profit partners. Tours last one hour and showcase Union Station’s history, art, transportation, restaurants, retail space, and The Crawford Hotel’s luxury guest rooms. Each tour is followed by a complimentary Union Station Kolsch, house red or white wine, or non-alcoholic beverage at the Terminal Bar.


We took the tour last fall and enjoyed a glimpse into many of the different beautifully styled style hotel rooms.


We saw original framed blueprints for Union Station on one staircase, and an interesting framed collection of vintage artifacts found in the original Great Hall's waiting benches. Click on the photo collage to enlarge it to see more detail.




Situated in the mezzanine of Denver Union Station, the Cooper Lounge offers inspiring views of vibrant downtown Denver as seen through soaring 28 foot high cast-iron windows on one side, and the panorama of the Great Hall on the other. The Cooper Lounge provides an elegant, intimate setting for cocktails and a bite to eat and is open to the public although reservations are strongly advised.


I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful and fun "Art Deco" style details of Cooper Lounge.



The lower level of Denver Union Station features 4,300 square feet of conference and function space. There are four well-appointed meeting rooms and a unique event venue set in the foundation of the historic building featuring beautiful exposed original stone.

Our tour guide also showed us the Webb Gallery which has a rustic, 20s-era feel with custom artwork created just for Denver Union Station. This private space offers a built-in bar, granite top sideboard, and two 80” HD monitors. The space is ideal for private events for up to 100 guests seated; cocktail parties and reception style events up to 150 guests.



The black and white vintage photos of Union Station in the gallery were fascinating.

Union Station is lite and decorated for the seasons and is a delight to visit any time of the year.  

My husband and I are looking forward to taking an Amtrak ride west from Union Station to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to enjoy the views over the Rocky Mountains. It is something we look forward to doing when life gets back to normal after this Novel Coronavirus pandemic--hopefully not too far in the future. In the meantime, we are staying safe at home. Stay healthy everyone!

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35 comments:

Angie said...

Pat - though it is much less grand than your Terminal, in many ways this reminded me of the Union Terminal in Cincinnati. Critical in the city's history. Art Deco details. A multi-million dollar re-birth. I am always so pleased when cities find a way to "re-use" rather than tear down!

I think it is a great improvement that many buildings are being adapted as overall public spaces rather than single-use buildings. The fact that it is called Denver's Living Room is a testament to this philosophy. Thanks for sharing this treasure and beauty with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat,

Beautiful tour of the Union Station and the the Hotel. So many beautiful details, looks lovely decorated for Christmas. I used to love playing shuffleboard. Great post and photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

Tom said...

...lovely , with a wealth of architecture details!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Wow! What an amazing place!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

A train trip is high on my list for things I would like to do when this is over. I'd love to travel through the mountains. Love all of your photos! You really put together a wonderful post! Happy week!

Jeanie said...

This building is a stunner, Pat. If I was visiting Denver, I would put this on my list of places to tour and probably near the top of the list. You took some marvelous photos here. I love the deco details. All so well done, as all your posts and especially the travel posts are. I appreciate the vicarious road trip!

Powell River Books said...

Old stations are so beautiful. It's nice that many are refurbished and loved. They just don't make them that way any more, all function and very little beauty. - Margy

Gardenrelish said...

Looks like a beautiful historic site. I enjoy discovering architectural details in older buildings too. It is fun to explore. Have a great week!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wow - what a building!

NCSue said...

Old train stations were so elegant - absolute architectural dreams. This one is lovely.
Thank you for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/05/back-to-archives.html

NanaHood said...

What a classy looking place!

Ruth Hiebert said...

It seems that years ago more attention was given to the fine details, resulting in some gorgeous buildings. This is certainly one of them.

Annie said...

I love that, "Denver's Living Room"! Thank you for sharing your pictures with us and the history of Denver's Union Station. When you can't travel it's so fun to read about where other people live. Someday we will visit Colorado!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

If I ever make it to Denver, I want to see Union Station. I like checking out old train stations, big or small. Your city did a wonderful job turning the station into a grand destination place. Cheers!

Lydia C. Lee said...

Lovely. Funny how trainstations were so ornate...

stevebethere said...

Great post stunning photos thanks for the tour :-)

Have a safetastic week 😷😷😷

Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook said...

Beautiful! I visited both Denver Union Station and the Crawford Hotel in 2017 when we had a small family reunion, in which 8 people from 3 states flew into Denver, took light rail from the airport, spent the night at the Crawford, and next morning boarded the train and rode all the way west to Emeryville, California. We loved both buildings!

If you have the time and money to ride the train all the way to California, I highly recommend it. There are so many different kinds of dramatic scenery along the way! When you get to Emeryville, you can take public transportation into San Francisco and explore the whole area.

ellen b. said...

So much to enjoy here. I do hope it can flourish again with all it has to offer!

EricaSta said...

Yes.... a little bit shutdown, we wish all.
A lovely Post for Our World Tuesday - I enjoyed reading.


Such a Station is like a poem.

Stay healthy and well.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Beautiful! I love to see old buildings being restored, and it looks like the workers did a great job on this one. If I ever fly into Denver, I'll take transit to downtown just to see this station.

Vee said...

An amazingly beautiful building. Thank you for sharing it. Is it open for business now or must CO wait a little longer?

Photo Cache said...

Impressive facade and building.

Worth a Thousand Words

Dawn said...

So much history and architectural detail! I'm sure it is even more breath taking in person.
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

betty-NZ said...

I had no idea that there was so much going on inside! What a fabulous place!

I am so glad that you took the time to share your world at 'My Corner of the World' this week! Thanks!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Denver's Union Station sure has changed since my last visit over 50 years ago!

csuhpat1 said...

What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing it. Would love to visit.

Romi said...

What a beautiful station!

Jim said...

Beautiful architecture.

Paspii said...

Beautiful architecture, whutta place. Fantastic!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Beautiful old architecture on both the Union Station and the hotel. Very nicely photographed. Makes me want to go visit!

diane b said...

Its lovely to see old buildings being restored and used. It keeps the building alive.Thanks for the tour.

April J Harris said...

What a wonderful armchair tour, Pat! I've never been to Denver. What a gorgeous train station and hotel. I love the shuffleboard platforms - they are gorgeous. Sharing on the H&S Facebook page. Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Take care and stay well.

Michelle said...

What a beautiful place!! It's so neat that they have the original blueprints hanging up. I've never been to Denver, but I'd love to go someday. If I ever make it I'll have to visit this train station and hotel!

MarilynsTreats said...

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

MarilynsTreats said...

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn