The website Thrillist recently compiled a list of the most beautiful train stations in America. Buildings you'd expect like New York's Grand Central Terminal and Washington D.C.'s Union Station made the list. So did Union Station in Utica.

Utica's train station was noted for being built by the same architects who designed Grand Central Terminal (the Central New York city's second iconic building connection with Manhattan - Utica's Memorial Auditorium was a model for Madison Square Garden.)

The Unique Heated Benches at Utica's Union Station

The Thrillist article notes the marble columns and other design features, but the author didn't know a secret about Utica's Union Station, a secret that's known to few outside of the Mohawk Valley: the unique way the station is heated. The wooden benches, shown below, contain the heating vents for the building. It's not hard to imagine how cold the large station gets in a brutally cold Upstate New York winter. So the designers built the heating ducts into the benches so the waiting travelers could remain warm, while the overall energy needed to heat the huge structure was greatly lessened.

Utica Struggles
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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