In 1949 the idea of the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal (NOUPT) was conceived in order to consolidate several passenger terminals around the city. The building was designed by Wogan and Bernard, Jules K. de la Vergne, and August Perez and Associates and planned to be built next to the old Union Passenger Station designed by Louis Sullivan. When it opened in 1954 it was a shining model of modernist architecture with a stone façade, marble, terrazzo, metal and glass. One key element in the terminal is a 32’x60’ mural by local artist Conrad Albrizio depicting scenes of Louisiana history from the Age of Exploration to the Modern Age. The mural along with the design of the building were meant to convey modern optimism and to elevate the train as a mode of transportation.
At about $2.2 Million, the cost of the building was incurred by the railroad companies that would be utilizing the station, though it would be owned by the city. In 1969 Greyhound was added to the station and a few tracks were shortened to make way for busses making it an intermodal facility. By 1977, Amtrak had taken over all services and operation of the building. However, in 2002 that control went back to the City of New Orleans where they could oversee a few renovation and restoration projects.
Mathes Brierre Architects was hired for the latest restoration project at the building which includes waterproofing the envelope, roofing repairs, and window replacement. This is an effort to harden the building against weather and future storms.