Built in 1914, Union Station opens her arms with 850,000 square feet of amazing space that originally featured 900 rooms. In her prime as a working train station, she accommodated hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. During WWII, an estimated one million travelers - many of them soldiers -- passed through the Station. The North Waiting Room (now Sprint Festival Plaza) held 10,000 people and the complex included restaurants, a cigar store, barber shop, railroad offices, the nation's largest Railway Express Building (used for shipping freight and mail) as well as a powerhouse providing steam and power. So many stories of farewells, reunions and of day-to-day vibrancy still echo in her walls. Just listen . . .
Closed in the 1980s, our Station sat empty and neglected, narrowly escaping demolition on several occasions. Then, in 1996, a historic bi-state initiative was passed to fund the Station's renovation, which was completed in grand fashion in 1999.
Union Station is once again a majestic and desired destination for our surrounding communities. She is at once, magical, warm, casual, elegant, full of surprises and wise from experience but young at heart.
Union Station draws tourists from all over the world who marvel at her Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers and the six-foot wide clock hanging in her central arch. She wakes up early and stays up late to host business meetings, recognition events, weddings and parties of all sorts. And that’s just the beginning . . .
Just as you could 100 years ago, you can still catch the train at Union Station's Amtrak Stop and head out across the country.
You'll also find a permanent rail exhibit called the KC Rail Experience, exhibit spaces for traveling exhibits produced by the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other international organizations, a Planetarium, an interactive science center Science City and a vibrant Theater District featuring Giant Screen Movies. Volunteer opportunities are associated with all areas of Union Station, as it is the volunteers that keep this grand building going.