Readers critique The Post: Don’t plaster over Union Station’s classical beauty

Every week, The Post runs a collection of letters of readers’ grievances — pointing out grammatical mistakes, missing coverage and inconsistencies. These letters tell us what we did wrong and, occasionally, offer praise. Here, we present this week’s Free for All letters.



a group of people walking in front of a building: Union Station in Washington in July 2012.


© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Union Station in Washington in July 2012.

Let’s park the Union Station facelift

I was shocked that nowhere in the Nov. 1 Metro article “Union Station overhaul stirs clash” was there mention of Union Station’s historical architecture. Is the debate over the number of parking spaces truly the most compelling question regarding its future? I thought Drew Courtney’s fearful description of Union Station as a “suburban shopping mall” with excessive parking was particularly apt, as the article’s graphic rendering of the revamped Union Station resembles exactly that — a suburban shopping mall.

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To me, Union Station is one of D.C.’s most beautiful buildings. Are we willing to cover the station’s six colossal Beaux-Arts statues by Louis Saint-Gaudens with a modern facade? Or trade the interior’s gold-leaf, white-marble and 96-foot-high, barrel-vault ceiling for a streamlined modern look? After the Trump administration listed this overhaul as one of its infrastructure projects in 2017 (I should have figured), was the plan run by the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, tasked with guiding future preservation and restoration efforts?

Few wouldn’t agree that Union Station needs to be redeveloped to efficiently serve as a multimodal transit hub, but we don’t need to plaster over its classical beauty in the process. Let’s preserve the architectural hallmarks of this noble building and make that mission rise above the hubbub over parking spaces.

Lisa Siegrist, Annandale

This one just doesn’t work for me

The Post did it again. By saying “Women also work, and they have suffered greater professional and economic consequences during the crisis,” the Nov. 1 news article “Trump demeans women, just as he needs their votes” also demeaned women. Other articles have referred to “stay-at-home moms” or an occasional “stay-at-home dads.” I suggest using the phrase “mothers (or fathers) who do not work outside the home for a salary.”

For years, I have resented the question or comment, “Your wife doesn’t work.” In fact, my wife did indeed work, and worked hard, but without any direct compensation. She managed our home, took on all sorts of essential tasks from car repairs to managing home-renovation projects and volunteered numerous times at school activities in place of mothers and fathers who “worked.” Our weekends were generally free, and our quality of life better because of the “work” that she completed during the week.

Please bring your writing up to date.

Paul W. Ropp, Arlington

We know you know that we know

Monica Hesse wrote in her Oct. 31 Style column that Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris “knows things no vice president has ever known.”

The obvious complement is that Harris doesn’t know things that every vice president has known, at least if Hesse is correct that some

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