“Fourth-Rate Design” Addition Proposed for Chicago Union Station Rooftop “Would Bring to the Forlorn But Grand Train Station All the Grandeur of a Holiday Inn.”

June 2018

THREATENED: “Fourth-Rate Design” Addition Proposed for Chicago Union Station Rooftop “Would Bring to the Forlorn But Grand Train Station All the Grandeur of a Holiday Inn.” (Chicago 7 2018)

Preservation Chicago included Chicago Union Station as a 2018 “Chicago 7 Most Endangered” based on conceptual rooftop addition renderings released by the development team as part of the Chicago Union Station Master Plan announced Mayor Emanuel and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman in May 2017. The Chicago Union Station Master Plan anticipates the construction of five new super-tall high-rise towers estimated at over 1.5 million square feet on the blocks directly to the south of Chicago Union Station.
Preservation Chicago included Chicago Union Station as a 2018 “Chicago 7 Most Endangered” based on conceptual rooftop addition renderings released by the development team as part of the Chicago Union Station Master Plan announced Mayor Emanuel and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman in May 2017. The Chicago Union Station Master Plan anticipates the construction of five new super-tall high-rise towers estimated at over 1.5 million square feet on the blocks directly to the south of Chicago Union Station.

Significant recent preservation-sensitive restoration work at Union Station by Amtrak has reversed the long-term trend of decades of demolition and deferred maintenance. Several important interior spaces and features have returned to public use, such as the Women’s Lounge, now known as the Burlington Room, and the Men’s Lounge and Barber Shop, which now form a series of passenger lounges. The restoration of the Great Hall/Waiting Room is nearly complete, along with a comprehensive restoration of the Great Hall Skylight. Preservation Chicago has played an active role as a consulting partner in this process with Amtrak, the City of Chicago, and design teams, and we both recognize the challenges and applaud these amazing accomplishments.