Just a random thought on Friday afternoon: I wish Union Station were more lively and inviting (as I’ve said before). After descending into the station, it feels like a maze of claustrophobic tunnels (even outside rush hour).
There is the beautiful but sadly underused Great Hall.
And the entrance that I see many people using to get to Adams St (and the Loop) is just a little sad, like Penn Station in New York.
The platforms aren’t any better, polluted with water dripping down and unsightly columns.
Below is what was Union Station, sadly now a skyscraper (that I work in) was built above it in 1971.
Ogilvie Station, just a few blocks north, feels slightly more inviting and well-lit (since it is above-ground), but is still relatively small.
Even Washington, D.C.’s Union Station (which I’ve never been to) looks more open and inviting.
And of course, I have a little nostalgia for Paris Gare du Nord.
And the way Frankfurt am Main’s train station opens to a large public space.
Or Paris St-Lazare’s smaller plaza, which still leads into a Metro/RER station below ground.
There are some small plans to help traffic circulation around Union Station, but nothing that really stirs our blood and creates a great welcoming place to the city. Nor does it connect to local public transportation. What are some of the greatest train stations you’ve seen, and how do you think Union Station could look and feel better in its current location?