Why Is LA's Lovely and Historic Union Station Getting Such a Modern Makeover?

Am I the only one feeling a little bit bummed about the modern makeover LA's historic Union Station is set to receive?

Union Station was build in 1939—a combination of Dutch Colonial Revival Architecture, Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne, on a grand scale that afforded it the nickname of "The Last of the Great Railway Stations."

Why Is LA's Lovely and Historic Union Station Getting Such a Modern Makeover?

Its interior, beautifully preserved even today, is decorated with travertine marble and terra cotta tiles, rich leather upholstery and high, wood-beamed ceilings. Enclosed garden patios flank either side of the main hall. The station is well-preserved relic of old Los Angeles; it could be mistaken for a movie set.

This is all about to go away, though, because today it was announced that the architects Grimshaw + Gruen beat out five other internationally recognized firms to redesign the city's downtown rail station. And their prize-winning proposal is quite a departure from the building's current concept.

A futuristic path of serpentine structures that seems to take no interest in the city's history or culture, the planned remodel is mainly in the service of accommodating more passengers and high speed rails. The design itself is not terrible. But neither is it so stunning as to warrant effectively abandoning the original building. [Ed. note: language has been changed to reflect the fate of the original station, which we do not know is being destroyed, necessarily]

Why can't well-enough sometimes just be left alone? [Inhabitat]