Amtrak Commits $12 Million To Union Station Rehab Project
Jan29

Amtrak Commits $12 Million To Union Station Rehab Project

If you’ve spent much time at Chicago Union Station lately, you probably noticed a chilly reception. I don’t mean the Amtrak staff. It’s been downright cold inside the station itself. There’s good news, though: the station’s drafty waiting rooms could be much toastier this time next year. The 90-year-old Chicago Union Station will be getting a facelift later this year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced Amtrak would pay $12 million...

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Great Chicago Walks: Revisiting Classic Rail Stations Past And Present
Aug03

Great Chicago Walks: Revisiting Classic Rail Stations Past And Present

About 50 years ago, I rode on a train for the first time. It was a St. Louis-to-New York City trip. I was a 12-year-old kid. I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday and I can’t seem to recall where I left my sunglasses but I do remember small details about that trip. The clackety-clack of the wheels, the whoo-whoo of the whistle. Seeing a man in a suit eating a hot dog with sauerkraut—for breakfast. I still enjoy traveling on...

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The Lucas Losers: 56 Chicago Places That Didn’t Make the Museum Grade
Jun26

The Lucas Losers: 56 Chicago Places That Didn’t Make the Museum Grade

Chicagoland’s science fiction enthusiasts are still walking a little taler in their Hush Puppies today, two days after it was announced that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built right in their front yards.  Contrary to the baseless internet rumor we’re trying to spread, the decision wasn’t made because summer in Chicago looks like Alderaan, and winter in Chicago looks like Hoth (-pause for laughter-).  The...

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Week Links: June 9-15, 2013
Jun15

Week Links: June 9-15, 2013

Here’s what weak this week: Free as in beer: Do you like money? Do you like Union Station? There’s a contest with $5,000 on the line for ideas for “activating” Union Station. (don’t you just love urban planner jargon?)  Check out the Activate Union Station web site. The Marquette Building is getting into the Stanley Cup playoffs in a way that only the Marquette Building can.  Check out the pictures at The...

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Week Links: February 24-March 2, 2013
Mar03

Week Links: February 24-March 2, 2013

Meanwhile in the rest of the city… CDOT is out with more information and drawings about the rapid bus route it wants to create n The Loop.  The city’s been talking about it for over a year, and these are the first pictures we’ve seen that look like anything useful. The Chicago chapter of the AIA is holding an event to help homeowners who are interested in renovating or remodeling their homes, but don’t know where to...

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Union Station Master Plan Finished
Jun01

Union Station Master Plan Finished

The Union Station Master Plan has been completed, and it doesn’t look all that much different from the proposals put forth by Amtrak, Metra, and the Chicago Department of Transportation at the beginning of the process last year. First, a little background — Union Station is a mess.  Short-sightedness on the part of people in the 1960’s who thought that passenger rail service in America was dying led to infrastructure...

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More on River Point [Update 2]
May17

More on River Point [Update 2]

Just a few hours after we published our article about River Point (444 West Lake Street), the new office tower expected to break ground soon at the confluence of the Chicago River and its north branch, Hines sent along a press release about the project. Here are the juicy bits: Construction start: Before the end of the year. Construction finish: 2016 Architect: Pickard Chilton Size: 850,000 square feet Environmental: It was...

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Union Station Hosts National Train Day 2012
May12

Union Station Hosts National Train Day 2012

One of Chicago’s most beautiful, most historic, and busiest buildings hosted a major event earlier today. National Train Day is an annual open house event held at Amtrak’s big stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia.  It gives train lovers a chance to walk around trains they might never have the opportunity to board, and exposes the wonder of train travel to people who might not have considered it...

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)
Dec22

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (2011 edition, part 16)

The great hall of Union Station (210 South Canal Street) is all decked out for Christmas.  Whether it’s little ones under a pine tree, or big ones delivering loved ones to a new city, there’s something about trains and Christmas that just go...

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Two New Skyscrapers, Otherwise a Modest Future for Union Station

Last night Amtrak and the Chicago Department of Transportation detailed plans for the future of Chicago’s Union Station. Union Station is the last of the historic train stations still active in Chicago. On an average weekday, it handles almost 120,000 local, regional, and long-distance Metra and Amtrak passengers. The station is at capacity, yet Metra wants to run 40% more trains into Union Station in the next 30 years, so...

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