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Alexandria Union Station, Alexandria.

Built in 1905, Alexandria Union Station’s design drew inspiration from the City Beautiful urban planning movement that arose in nearby Washington, DC in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its design combines a Colonial Revival form with Federal-style architectural details, marking a shift from construction of a merely serviceable to an architecturally appealing station, a planned municipal gateway. The station resulted from the reordering and consolidation — or “union” — of rail lines in Alexandria and greater DC. It is the only Colonial Revival-style public building of its era in Alexandria and the only remaining building that recalls the city’s long railroad history. Station traffic declined beginning 1932 when the George Washington Memorial Highway opened, luring passengers from trains to autos. Also that same year, the Washington-Virginia Railway, a commuter train, closed connections to the station.