TBT: What used to be, and what a crazy place this was

Throwback Thursday on Facebook is a time of old pictures, mostly, so here’s one from Ogden’s Union Station going back quite a ways.

This one, showing our Grand Lobby, breaks my heart. Would you look at those chandeliers? Gorgeous things.

A few of us thought this picture had been photoshopped, but no. This is an actual historic photo, courtesy of the Union Pacific’s history library, showing the Union Station’s lobby as it looked when the place was finished, 90 years ago.

Those amazing chandeliers lit the lobby for years and years. What happened to them?

We’d love to know. I am told they were shipped out to be refurbished and never came back. Melted down for the war effort during WWII? No clue.

We are working to put a few of those benches back. We’ll never have them all — a lot are gone, and we need the space clear for events — but two will be there on a permanent basis, both for the historic value and, frankly, just a good place to sit.

One was returned from restoration in December and the second will be back this month. We’ll be announcing its coming with great fanfare, of course. Watch this space.


From the Jan. 8, 1915 Salt Lake Telegram

Ogden’s downtown is beyond family friendly these days, with cafes and even a maternity shop. But it wasn’t always so. The area’s rough reputation was well-deserved. The street was so tough that one preacher even suggested someone dig a tunnel under it, all the way from Union Station to Washington Boulevard, just so travelers wouldn’t have to see all the shenanigans going on.

100 years ago today Edward Hart found out the hard way. He was standing at the intersection of Commercial Alley (now Kiesel, I think) and 24th Street when someone hit him on the head, stole his money — $20 was a sizable sum back then — and gold watch, and ran off.

The police found the watch in a pawn shop, where it had been sold for $6.