Opened on October 27, 1907 and completed in 1908, Union Station is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. cArchitect, Daniel Burnham designed the building to be monumental in every respect and to serve as a gateway for the capital city. For over 90 years, Union Station has welcomed people to the most important city in the world. This magnificent building has even played host to 17 Presidents and countless foreign dignitaries. However, what may be most impressive is the fact that Union Station's marble floors echo with the footsteps of over 25 million people each year, making it the most visited site in all of Washington, D.C. Union Station is the most exciting and dynamic shopping destination in the country. The quality and diversity of its stores have made it the choice of Presidents as well as millions of busy commuters and wide-eyed tourists each year.
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city was built from scratch, Washington's
regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered
on Capitol Hill and its governmental
monoliths, the District is divided into four
quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast
and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all
named after states, run diagonally across a
standard grid of streets , meeting up at
monumental traffic circles like Dupont
Circle. North-south streets are numbered,
east-west ones are lettered. There's no J
Street, an intentional slight to early
Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z
Street. I Street is often written Eye
Street. Be sure to note the relevant
two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW,
SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600
Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600
Pennsylvania Ave SE.
Once in the
city, stop at the
DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center ,
Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania
Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel
202/328-4748), which can help with maps,
tours, bookings and citywide information.
Look for visitor information desks at the
airports and Union Station.
The White House Visitor Information Center
, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily
7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free
maps and handy guides to museums and
attractions; the most useful is the free
Washington DC Visitors Guide .