Atlanta Union Station of 1930

Atlanta's third Union Station. (Tracy O'Neal Photographic Collection, 1923-1975, Special Collections Department, Georgia State University Library.)

Opened in the spring of 1930, Atlanta's third Union Station stood between Forsyth and Spring streets, three blocks northwest of the two earlier facilities. Built above the tracks, the marble and limestone main building faced Forsyth Street, which like Spring Street, was elevated in the area known as the "railroad gulch." If Union Station had survived, it would today be facing the Five Points MARTA station.

McDonald & Company, of Atlanta, the designing architects and superintending engineers completed the building at a cost of $250,000 and the entire facility at $600,000. Services included a luncheonette and a barber shop. An elevated parking deck and a viaduct to Spring Street behind the station (both visible in the photo above) accommodated growing automobile and truck traffic.

Union Station served the Atlantic Coast Line, Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis, Louisville & Nashville, and Georgia Railroad. After November of 1933, it also served the Atlantic, Birmingham & Coast.

The building was demolished in 1972. (Views of its site today.)

The main station entrance faced Forsyth Street. This view looks to the north, where Marietta and Spring streets are beyond the tall office buildings.

The tracks can be seen on the left, below the station and the viaducts.

The viaduct at Union Station (center) connected the Forsyth Street and Spring Street viaducts.

The two earlier union stations stood on the block bounded by Central Avenue and Wall, Pryor, and Alabama streets. The first, built in 1853, was destroyed by Federal troops in late 1864. The second, constructed in 1871, was demolished after its replacement by the 1930 structure.

Suggested Reading:

David H. Steinberg and the Southeastern Railway Museum. When Atlanta Took the Train. Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2018. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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