New Orleans Union Station

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New Orleans Union Station
Passenger Station
Postcard view, c. 1900
Operated byIllinois Central Railroad
Line(s)Illinois Central, Southern Pacific, Yazoo and Mississippi Valley
Opened1 June 1892 (1892-06-01)
Closed8 January 1954 (1954-01-08)
Preceding station   Illinois Central   Following station
TerminusMain Line
Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad
Main Line
toward Memphis

New Orleans Union Station was a railroad station in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was designed by Louis H. Sullivan for the Illinois Central Railroad and opened on June 1, 1892. It was located on South Rampart Street, in front of the current New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal.

The station was used primarily by the Illinois Central Railroad, as the terminus for its main line from Chicago, but, over time, it also served a number of other lines, including the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. Before the Huey P. Long Bridge was constructed, Southern Pacific Passenger trains reached station by ferry from Avondale.[1] By the 1940s, a total of 13 passenger trains arrived and departed from the station daily.[2]

New Orleans Union Station was the only train station architect Louis Sullivan designed. It was constructed in the architect's well-known 'Chicago School' style and decorated with his iconic ornament. Adler and Sullivan's head draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright was involved in the final work under Sullivan's supervision. Union Station was a three story hip-roofed structure with a cupola, including office and waiting areas, with a broad portico with central columns and arched entryways at each end of the entrance.[3][4]

New Orleans at the time of the station's construction had several other railway stations including the Texas Pacific - Missouri Pacific Railway Station on Annunciation St. between Melpomene and Thalia Streets; The Louisiana and Arkansas Railway - Kansas City Southern Railroad Station at 705 S. Rampart Street; the Southern Railway Terminal at 1125 Canal Street and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Station, on Canal St. near the Mississippi River.

The station was demolished in 1954 and replaced by the current New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal that consolidated the inter-city railroad services.

Union Depot New Orleans Postcard Wagons
Southern Pacific Railroad in New Orleans


  1. ^ Hofsommer, Don L. (2009). The Southern Pacific, 1901-1985. Texas A&M University Press.
  2. ^ "Crescent City Choo Choo". New Orleans Public Library Web site.
  3. ^ Morrison, Hugh (2001). Louis Sullivan: Prophet of Modern Architecture. New York: W.W.Norton.
  4. ^ DeWitt, Wim (ed.) (1996). Louis Sullivan: The Function of Ornament. New York: W.W.Norton.

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