Metro has begun to finalize plans for the dramatic Union Station Master Plan, which will preserve the wonderful and historic Union Station that Angelenos know and love while making enormous changes—they'll start in the near-term by replacing the northern parking lot in front of the station with a pedestrian plaza, but a slew of other improvements over the next several years should finally give LA a "world-class transit facility [and] a destination that serves everybody."
Step one of the big Master Plan will be "perimeter improvements" like the new pedestrian plaza, intended to "soften the edges of the station, create better connections to the Civic Center and historic and cultural communities surrounding the station, and welcome transit riders and visitors," according to a Metro staff report (via The Source). Step two will be private development surrounding the station and "major transit improvements," including moving the Patsaouras Bus Plaza to an elevated spot between the back of the existing station and railroad tracks. Step three is a high-speed rail station, assuming that mess of a project ever reaches Downtown LA.
The staff reports says that the final Master Plan "include[s] a series of open spaces, terraces and connecting features that allow transit riders and visitors to easily span the site, with the choice of crossing at grade level or going above the rail platforms for a view of the transit services and the City." Besides the elevated bus plaza, the existing tunnel that connects the main station to train platforms and buses will be madeover into a "multi-modal concourse" for passengers to wait for transportation.
The Master Plan is on the Metro Planning Board's agenda for next month's meeting; the full Metro Board still has to vote on the plan as well. Meanwhile, Metro's already got trendy restaurateur Cedd Moses (Cole's, Seven Grand) moving into the lovely old Harvey House restaurant space.