- 1878 - The New Depot
- A new rail station is created near the stockyards, nearby where Kansas and Missouri Rivers merge.
- Quote: Headlines called “Handsomest and largest depot of New York”
- Symbolized the remarkable growth of the young Kansas City
- 1900 - The Flood
- West Bottoms becomes submerged in water
- Quote: “The flood’s peak the waiting room was filled to a depth of 6 feet 7 inches while outside only the black humps on top of locomotives were visible. The depot was closed for a week.”
- 1910 - The Opening
- 12 railroad companies united to create KCTR and a newly designed station under architect Jarvis Hunt. The railway company increases to gain popularity. Construction begins in 1911 and opens to the public in 1914.
- Quote: slogan for the construction of Union Station: “Make a Monument”
- 1920 - Liberty Memorial
- Local leaders bring together commanders of the armies in World War I to built a national monument in their honor. On New Year’s Eve, when the prohibition began, a few hundred people gathered to celebrate.
- Quote: For one night Union Station was the center of the city’s wide open, party till-dawn swinging culture.”
- called Union Station “the Heart of America”
- was the largest Union Station in the country aside from New York
- 1930 - The Union Station Massacre
- On June 1933, a shootout occurred at Union Station where Frank-Nash, bank-robber, escaped the penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Five people were murdered.
- Quote: “Put ‘em up. Up! Up!”
- 1940 - World War II
- Ridership continues to increase as World War II finally ceases in 1945. Soldiers pass through the station to get home after the war.
- 1950 - The Long Decline
- During this time, passenger numbers decrease as air travel becomes more popular.
- Quote: “Failure to modernize will be accompanied by the risk of gradual deterioration of the remarkably high prestige which Fred Harvey enjoys in Kansas City.”
- 1960 - Continual Deterioration
- The style of Union Station became outdated. In 1961, 35,000 tickets were handled, however, it dropped in 1969 to 13,000.
- Quote: “There just isn’t any future or need for passenger trains.”
- 1970 - A Historic Site
- The federal government designates Union Station as a protected structure and is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The space was used as an exhibition space from displaying vintage automobiles to cat shows. Later, Amtrak takes over the company as ridership continues to decrease.
- Quote: Union Station was “...no longer justified by its use.
- 1980 - A Time of Failure
- Amtrak and The Lobster Pot restaurant hold out despite Union Station’s state. Kansas City initiates legal action against the redevelopment company for failing to develop the station. In 1983, the station closes. In failing to refurbish the building, the station continues to deteriorate.
- Quote: “Nobody knows what to do about it.”
- “I could see a train wreck coming.”
- 1990 - Lawsuits and Restoration
- The Trizec settlement allowed them to cut ties with Union Station. At this, the restoration effort began with the formation of Union Station Assistance Corporation. Kansas City then creates a tax to restore and redevelop the building which consisted of $118 out of the needed $250 million project. The building also housed Science City as a main attraction.
- Quote: “He wanted designers to think of “adventure and immersion.”
- The importance of immersion
- 2000 - The Upward Climb
- Amtrak partners with Union Station once more
Union Station Kansas City by Jeffrey Spivak