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Anaheim articBehold the Anaheim, CA,  Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). It’s a LEED Platinum champeen! It is also running a $2 million operating deficit after opening earlier this year. Revenue was expected from naming rights, but so far no corporation has paid to have its name plastered on the end-wall. An average of 460 Metrolink and 300 Amtrak passengers boarded trains daily at the Anaheim station during the first month of operation. That’s fewer than the number of customers who eat at the Harbor Blvd and West Ball Road Taco Bell any given day. Well, sorry to twang on the sad state of public transit in The OC, but let’s face it: SoCal is the Vatican of Happy Motoring.

As for the building itself: sigh…. what you’ve got is just a plastic shed. The diamond-shaped ethylene tetrafluoroethylene skylight panels can transmit a jillion different colored lighting effects at night. Like infants everywhere, Americans enjoy brightly-colored things that glitter. I wonder, though, how the stuff will hold up to the brutal daily UV bombardment over the years. My guess is that the windows will go opaque, and then turn to powder before the 21st century is half over.

Thanks to Natalie Gloving for the nomination.

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

9 Responses to “August 2015”

  1. richardguerin August 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Usually I’d be on board for making fun of this – but for me, ANY effort away from cars in CA should be supported if not celebrated. When gas goes to $5, this place will be swarmed.

    While I wish it could be more well done – the hideous context of Anaheim actually does not provide any context worth incorporating, meaning, if this building were in Paris or Boston I’d take greater offense, but in the OC, this isn’t so bad.

  2. carboncommute August 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    richardguerin, not sure if you live in SoCal, but gas regularly hovers between $4-5 regularly in LA county and it doesn’t seem to matter much.

  3. sniffingmoose August 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Only 300 Amtrak passengers boarded trains daily! They would remove all staffing and abandon the building if passenger levels in the UK are that low at any station.

    Is that right? only 4 Amtrack services per day! No wonder no one uses it. The train names sound romantic though.

    We have our own Railway Station eyesore too. I nominate the new Birmingham New street station. One view looks like the mouth of the honey monster.
    You can see it by following the link below:-


    However it is a busy station with over 170,000 passengers using Birmingham New Street station every day and has:-

    3tph to London Euston via Coventry
    1tph to Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Waverley (alternating each hour) via Preston and Carlisle.
    2tph to Manchester Piccadilly via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent.
    2tph to Bristol Temple Meads with one carrying on to Plymouth and some as far as Penzance.
    2tph to Nottingham via Derby.
    2tph to Leicester with one carrying on to Stansted Airport via Peterborough.
    2tph to Reading via Oxford, some of which continue to Southampton Central and Bournemouth.
    1tph to Cardiff Central via Gloucester & Newport.
    1tph to Newcastle Central via Sheffield and Doncaster.
    1tph to Edinburgh Waverley via Leeds and Newcastle Central, continuing alternately to Glasgow Central or Dundee and Aberdeen.

    Plus local services every 10 minutes.

  4. jayrome August 6, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    No context in Anaheim except Disneyland, so. . . in a way it is a slick MO-DERN structure that maybe echos the Crystal Palace, kinda sorta, or a bit like blimp hangers? Brutal UV will ultimately destroy the plastics even though it has inhibitors against solar degradation.
    At least for the time being the structure serves a noble idea that might get more people out of their cars (fat chance)and cut the addiction?
    A way to slow down the degradation would be my favorite solution: Plant semi-tropical vines and let it cover the structure to “protect” the plastic skin. Vines are so versatile, soaking up sunlight and Carbon Dioxide, a little phyto-remediation of contaminated soil, inject a bit of Nature to cloak the UFO station, and absorb some of the LEED Green Smoke too boot!
    Wowie Zowie. . . . . I’m having so much fun at the expense of the City building department that approved the structure. I feel much better now!

  5. Peter VE August 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    I looked at the monstrosity on Google maps & street view.
    It’s even worse than the building alone. The site is walled off from any potential urban development in the immediate area by the tracks, a freeway, the “river”, and an 8 lane main connector, and beyond that, the entire neighborhood is a massive parking lot.
    The site design is prioritized to motorized transportation, instead of to the actual walking person, leaving the building disconnected from the tracks.
    However, it was successful at moving money from the pockets of the taxpayer to the pockets of the architects (HOK), Contractors, and consultants.

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  6. PeteAtomic August 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    What struck me about the illustration was the dark storm clouds in the background. This must have been a touch of wishful thinking, considering the moisture situation in CA at the moment.

  7. SDGreg August 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    On weekdays that station is served by 22 Amtrak and 29 Metrolink trains. While not optimally located for walking a lot of places, it’s about half way between Angel Stadium and the Honda Center and an easy enough walk to each. Given those sports facilities are in such close proximity and along the major rail line between Los Angeles and San Diego, that’s a good place for a station it already had.

    But unless that station serves as a major local transit hub, I don’t know how you begin to justify a station that large. But it wasn’t built that large with local transit or existing rail services either in mind. It was built that large on the assumption that the southern terminus of the main spine of the high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles would some day be extended south to Anaheim. That’s hardly a given and even if it did occur it’s a long way off, at least 10 years and probably 20+. They could just as easily have kept using the previous station indefinitely and built a larger station if/when it was needed.

    While it’s probably visually interesting enough for me to go photograph it some day, that’s hardly sufficient justification to build it given the current and expected usage for some time to come.

  8. ydv3622 July 19, 2018 at 1:47 am #

    I am so glad to looked this building, hey your work is awesome. we are presented a most entertaining junction for all online users, here you have to play hearts free online games and make some exiting moment in your boring time.

  9. MarkButtler September 18, 2021 at 6:55 am #

    A $2 million operating deficit is not good for this industry. They need to try new strategies to grow their brand in the market. They need to get the product explainer video services in order to meet the target of their audience and make it a professional level brand in the industry.