Union Station Revival
The bands and balloons will be out this Saturday as America’s last great rail station, built in 1939, turns 75, and historic renovation specialist Ray Adamyk’s renovation welcomes the public. Your publisher paid a visit.
The big bronze windows (he’s pointing to) have been cleaned…
The ticket counter restored…
The seating area and ceilings brought back to original glory...
And Tom the Artisan (one of most expert of 20 colleagues Ray put on the project) is still putting finishing touches on the details before you get there. As for British-born and Canadian-raised Ray, he started his firm, Spectra, 29 years ago, then brought it to LA in the early '90s.
Of course it’s not just restoration for its own sake. 60,000 passengers a day use Amtrak, Metrolink, and Metro Rail. The aim of Metro (which bought the building for $75M in 2011) is to accommodate growth to 100,000 and build retail as Downtown and the Olvera Street area become rejuvenated destinations.
We drove with Ray a couple miles away to see another of his recent renovations, the new Ace Hotel, born in 1927 as the United Artists Building.
It’s kind of daunting when you’re redeveloping a building originally orchestrated by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith.
Original metal grills on the façade were replicated with epoxy resin. The project took eight months and was finished three months ago.
Connecticut-based Greenfield Partners bought the building in 2011 and has made the rooftop pool a social focal point (unlike the Ace in NYC, which purposely attracts many hip non-guests who set up their laptops in the community lobby). Spectra has brightened up many an old building: the Pantages and El Capitan theatres, the Biltmore and Roosevelt Hotels, and varied others from the LA Times building to the Marion Davies House and Catalina Casino in Avalon.