Plan to rebuild Chicago Union Station finally starts to roll

October 16, 2015

After years of studies and collective hand-wringing, a coalition of local government units and Amtrak today is announcing the first real steps to finally rebuild the crowded and outmoded Union Station.Website Insert Out of the Box Thinking copy

On tap immediately are a new passenger lounge and repairs to the stately but leaky 219-foot-long skylight that covers the building’s Great Hall.

But more much more expansive work, especially widening train platforms, providing better street-level access and opening a direct connection to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line, aren’t yet funded, though Amtrak is moving to lease potentially lucrative air rights for high-rise office development.

“Chicago Union Station is an enormous asset to Amtrak as well as the city of Chicago,” Amtrak Vice President and Chief of Business Development Stephen Gardner said in a statement in advance of today’s announcement. “Amtrak is committed to working in partnership with our stakeholders to . . . deliver value for the company and help realize the full vision of a vibrant transportation hub interwoven within an integrated mixed urban district.”

Writer Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business has the full story by clicking here.


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