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All Thanks to Frank - Celebrating 100 years of Ogden's Union Station

All Thanks to Frank - Celebrating 100 years of Ogden's Union Station

Posted: 01/31/2024

2024 marks a hundred years of Ogden’s second Union Station. The original version of the building was erected in 1869, complete with a commanding clock tower, the station was born out of neccesity for the railroad industry and the exploding new town of Ogden.

However, one ill-fated day in 1923 a fire ravaged Ogden’s original 1869 Union Station, but with determination and hope local Ogdenites hoped to rebuild the original building, including the station's clock tower, but as fate would have it plans quickly changed.

Frank Yentzer, a dedicated employee of the station who showed up to work finding his office, turned into a temporary setup outside as construction began rebuilding. Frank would diligently work until strong winds brought down a 250-lb stone from atop the clock tower onto his interim work setup, killing him instantly. 

The shocking loss of Frank Yentzer became a turning point for the city, prompting a swift reassessment of the rebuilding plans. Shortly after, the city decided to design an entirely new Union Station, hiring father-and-son architect duo John and Donald Parkinson, who would later go on to design another famous Union Station in Los Angeles, the largest passenger rail terminal in the Western United States.

The Spanish Colonial Revival style of today’s Union Station will have lived on for a hundred years, since its completion on Sept. 28 1924. Later in 1980, Edward Laning of New York was commissioned to paint two murals across the north and south walls of the Grand Lobby. The installation of both murals would be Laning’s last work before his passing. 

These artworks vividly depict the rich and storied history of Utah's railroads, serving as both a visual narrative and a tribute to the pioneers who shaped the region's railway heritage; these murals have become integral components of Union Station's identity.

Thus, the saga of Ogden's Union Station is one of resilience, adaptation, and the enduring pursuit of preserving history. From the ashes of tragedy rose a renewed symbol of the community's spirit, manifested in the architectural beauty and artistic embellishments that continue to define Ogden and Union Station to this day. 

 Although Union Station is no longer a functioning train station, the station still has lots to offer with the John M. Browning Firearms Museum and the Utah State Railroad Museum, open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Ogden city is planning a series of events to mark the anniversary of this historical building.

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Here in Ogden you can experience 3 ski and summer resorts, combined boasting over 11,600 skiable acres and miles of single track for those who love to mountain bike and hike! We offer a wide range of breathtaking recreation options with everything in easy reach. Whether you settle in at one of our many friendly hotels, out-of-the-way campgrounds or modern meeting and event venues, you will find that Ogden is an ideal travel destination offering one-of-a-kind outdoor recreation and metropolitan delights throughout the year. Wander and get lost in Ogden!

Wander and Get Lost in Ogden!

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