CHICAGO – Amtrak is proud that historic Chicago Union Station will be included as a site for Open House Chicago (OHC), a free annual architecture festival sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Participants are invited to explore Chicago’s most iconic and unique architectural treasures. Many tours include behind-the-scenes looks at buildings and spaces rarely open to the public.
Completed in 1925, Union Station was built through a partnership among four railroads that desired a grand gateway befitting the city’s status as a national railroad hub and bustling metropolis. Famed architect and city planner Daniel Burnham began designing Union Station, but it was completed by the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White following Burnham’s death.
The head house is noted for its Great Hall, which features a 300-foot-long, barrel-vaulted skylight that soars 115 feet above the floor. Two statues, representing day and night, preside over the space and represent the 24-hour nature of passenger railroading. The building’s exterior is clad in Bedford limestone quarried in Indiana. Together with the approach and storage tracks, the entire station facility takes up nearly 10 city blocks.
During OHC, visitors can see the newly restored Women’s Lounge, new Metropolitan Lounge and other impressive spaces undergoing transformation.
Learn more about how Amtrak and its partners are advancing a development and improvement program for Chicago Union Station.