It seems like it was much longer ago.
While I think it's easy, and common, for people when they think about Union Station, to comment on its financial woes, the struggles of Science City, etc. But I don't. I think in amazement of what that area of the city was like 10 years ago before it opened.
Prior to Union Station opening, the area around it, and the Crossroads, were virtually abandoned with the exception of Crown Center. The Liberty Memorial sat virtually empty, instead of having a world class museum. The Western Auto Building -- empty. The Freighthouse Building -- empty (it now boasts three incredible restaurants). Dozens of other warehouse buildings - empty. The TWA Building -- empty. The Federal Reserve -- not even there. The IRS Headquarters? A beautiful, but under-used post office.
It's amazing to think that 12 years ago when we voted to restore Union Station, that the alternative was to tear it down. Yes, destroyed. Razed. Gone. It now sits as a center point of our growing downtown, a destination for tourists, and a showpiece for the city. It is one of only a dozen or so museums in the country that get traveling Smithsonian exhibits like the 911 Exhibit, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the current Warhol Exhibit. Penn Valley Park ? A place little used by anyone other than prostitutes.
And it continues to get mentioned as the obvious hub for eventual commuter and light rail proposals as we seek to improve the public transit in our city.
Sure it's easy to criticize its financial struggles of the building, but I can't help but wonder if any of this would have happened without a vote by the residents on both sides of the state line to save a major part of our city's history, and declare that the area was important to us.