Union Station

Union Station, at the south end of Church Street, was a landmark and point of civic pride from its opening in 1905 until its demolition in the name of downtown revitalization in 1968. After an act of the legislature allowed cities to require railroads to share central or "union" depot facilities, Durham had a new passenger station built in Italian Renaissance style, with ornate brickwork, a 65-foot square tower and a cobblestone plaza where travelers got their first impressions of the city: looking up toward the spire of Trinity Methodist Church, or just to the right at the town jail. Passenger rail service to Durham ceased in 1964. Already, the city had adopted a plan for making over its downtown with a loop road that incorporated the station property. With the Union Station abandoned and its tower of use only to pigeons, demolition came in September 1968 and the Peabody-Ramseur section of the Loop, and the county parking deck, went up in its place. Some of the plaza's cobblestones, though, were kept and used to pave a miniature park at Five Points, Muirhead Plaza.