Although Union Station is not the travel hub it once was, it is a must-see for those interested in Chicago architecture. The ... More
Although Union Station is not the travel hub it once was, it is a must-see for those interested in Chicago architecture. The grand hall is breathtaking with giant Roman columns sweeping up to the ceiling, as statues glare down upon the rows of benches and busy commuters below. Union Station is currently home to both Amtrak and the Metra commuter trains. The Amtraks head all over the country, while the Metra lines snake throughout the suburbs to such places as Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Botanic Garden, Ravinia Park, and the riverboat casinos. Timings vary, open according to train schedule.
What happened to the beautiful benchs in the magnificent grand hall!! They ARE historical architecture and MUST be returned- when will this be done? I am discounting my ratiing, where as in the past I would of given it a FULL 5 stars. The original door handles were taken out, as I noticed earlier, but this bench removal......how is the historical society tolerating this?
Union Station (recently renovated about 15 years ago) harkens back to a day where trains were the fastest and most civilized way to travel long distances.
The Grand Hall, despite an almost empty ghost-like demeanor, is nothing short of impressively breathtaking. Pillars, topped with gold-toned classical statues, flank the edges and the dearth of benches seems to suggest that Union Station was meant to handle more traffic than it does today.
There are a number of restaurants and small shops selling a variety of Chicago souvenirs and foodstuffs (hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, and steak and particularly good in Chicago) and both the Chicago Metra and Amtrak operate out of the station.
Union Station, unlike many of its contempories, has been kept up well and is clean as one can expect of a train station. The bathrooms aren't bad at all and things generally seem to be under control.
If you're in Chicago, you should make a point to visit Union Station, even if just to see the Grand Hall.
To call it just a train station is just too much of an understatement. The magnificent Grand Hall is an experience in itself. The room is made of soft pink Tennessee Marble and the skylight provides a soft, very relaxing atmosphere that will give you the message to just sit on one of the long wood benches and take it all in. The film "The Untouchables", starring Kevin Costner was filmed in this station. Many of you will remember the scene where the baby pram goes out of control down the stairs. Taking any of the trains from this station is easy and the folks here are happy and helpful. Many different places to eat ranging from a simple hot dog to Chicago-style BBQ ribs. Enjoy the station, I know that I did!!
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