DC Holiday Event: (Lack of) Christmas Decorations at Union Station

I heard that Union Station has some beautiful classic Christmas decorations at this time of year. I also heard that because they’re in the process of repairing damage from the August 23 earthquake, the decorations might be scaled back this year. As it turned out, “scaled back” meant virtually no Christmas decorations.

A few stores and restaurants had put up their own decorations, but apart from that, I had to search for a while before I found two functional model train tracks and one non-functional model train track (perhaps it just hadn’t been turned on).

Instead of decorations throughout, I found quite a bit of scaffolding for repairs. So I guess Union Station had quite a bit more earthquake damage than I’d realized. It sounds like it might have been more damage than anyone realized, from what I read on the Washington Post’s website about a second wave of repairs that began after a small piece of plaster fell from the ceiling of the main hall in October.

But in the process of searching for decorations, I discovered that I’d only explored a small fraction of Union Station in the past, and that I’d completely missed the beautiful main hall near the front of the building (which I’d always bypassed when coming to and from the Metro).

So it was a worthwhile trip, even if it was disappointing. My recommendation: Wait to check out Christmas decorations at Union Station until next year (when the restoration work should be complete), and if you’re interested in seeing the restoration work being done, then still visit for that.

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