Union Station, which was built in 1926 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, was restored in 2018-19 and today houses the city’s transportation traffic signal-control operations.
Union Station came about when three railroads, the Southern, the Norfolk and Western, and the Winston-Salem Southbound, formed the Winston-Salem Terminal Company to build a new train station to serve the growing city of Winston-Salem.
It was designed by Fellheimer and Wagner, a prominent New York architectural firm that designed train stations throughout the United States, and combines the Beaux Arts style with Neoclassical details.
Initially, twenty passenger trains used the station daily on four tracks. Rail transportation declined during the Great Depression in the 1930s, but saw a revival during World War II. However, the postwar economic boom brought widespread car ownership and a surge in road construction that again led to declining passenger counts.
By 1963, only Southern Railway continued to provide passenger service with four scheduled trains daily. Passenger services ended at Union Station on June 15, 1970, when the last train stopped in Winston-Salem en route from Greensboro to Asheville. Thereafter, the train was rerouted through Salisbury.
The Winston-Salem Terminal Company dissolved a few years later and the property was sold to Harvey and Bonnie Davis, who converted the station to a vehicle-repair garage. Unfortunately, before the sale, Southern Railway tore down the original glass and cast iron bridge concourse over the tracks, as well as the loading platforms.
The Davis family used the building for more than thirty years. In 2010 the city bought the building, and in 2014 the City Council approved the use of limited obligation bonds to finance its restoration. Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects PA and New Atlantic Contracting Inc. were hired to complete the rehabilitation of Union Station.
Union Station was designated a Local Historic Landmark on December 15, 1997 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 24, 1998.
Read more about Union Station [pdf]
Union Station Tours
The city will open Union Station to the public for tours during October, November and December. The tours are free and no reservations are needed. However, don’t be late! Tours start promptly at the main entrance and doors are locked once the tour group enters.
2019 Tour Dates & Times
- Friday, Oct. 11, 3 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m.
- Friday, Nov. 8, 3 p.m.
- Wednesday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.
- Friday, Dec. 13, 3 p.m.
Free parking is available in the lot off Excelsior Street. See map below.