Kansas City Union Station, built in 1914, is said to be the second largest train station in the country. It was restored to its original glory in 1999 after years of decay.
It has lots of shops and restaurants now. It also has theatres for films and live performances. The Science City is located there. My favorite is the free exhibit on the history of the Union Station. The entrance to this exhibit is between the Amtrak ticket counter and a souvenir store. Yup! This is still a true train station that services Amtrak trains.
From the Union Station, you can walk to the Liberty Memorial and the Crown Centre, a first-class mall. "The Link" to the Crown Centre is an elevated and enclosed walkway that provides protection from bad weather.
Built in 1914, Union Station is a historical landmark. The building features a 95-foot ceiling in the Grand Hall, three enormous chandeliers and a six-foot wide clock hanging in the Station's central arch. Union Station, now part of the Kansas City Museum clan, currently houses 2 permanent exibits and the display of the 2001 Time Capsule.
In addition to the historical aspect of Union Station it also houses a giant 2D/3D screen movie theater, a domed planetarium theater, a live stage theater, traveling and permanent ehibits, arranging special events, restaurants, shops, and Science City. Interestingly enough it is currently a working rail station for the Railway Express (used for shipping freight and mail only).
Union Station is open 6 a.m. to midnight daily. The Station is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Science City is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Science City is open all holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.
General Admission - Includes Science City and Exhibits
Seniors (55 and older) $8
Children (4-12) $7
3 and under are FREE
Discounted prices on Sunday
These are the basic Admission prices. Other options are available for adding movies and live shows.
Guest Parking is available in the West Yards Parking Lot, west of the building.
It is free evenings, weekends and holidays. On weekdays, free parking is available for the first three hours of your visit. You can also get two addition hours for free with validation of a paid admission to Science City, any of the shows or exhibits.
After five hours, parking is $2.00 per hour until 6 p.m.
It is a renovated and completely redone station in 1999 that was back form the 1920's era. That took $250 million to restore. Now it needs more money to survive and stay open. They offer a Science Museum inside. However, once you see it, it is not worth another return since the exhibits do not change. Money and brains do not mix when it comes to the public figures trying to do something right for the community. Exhibits are scant and every one loses money in featuring. The building is the site to see, and that is free to go inside. Large-huge cavern of the inside and the ceilings are maybe 95 feet high. It was finished in 1914, and has 850,000 Square feet. It was used extensively during WWII, and 1 million people came through.
Union Station is a beautifully restored early 20th century building that houses the train station , stores, state of the art movie theaters, a food court, exhibits, a planetarium and the famous science center "Science City" with exhibits for young learners.
This is a cavernous hall that used to be the main waiting station inside. At one time in WWII there were 1 million that came thought this station to various points. It has 850,000 square feet and used to also have 850 rooms to stay plus a waiting area to seat 10,000. Now the alternative feture is Science City; a presentation of odd science displays. Once you seen it that is all you need to not come back.
They still do have an Amtrak next door that you can connect to. There are a couple of shops that sell goodies, like chocolate, and souvenirs. Everything is closed after 5PM, so it really gets dark in there; like a sarcophogus since all is made of huge limestone blocks inside and outside.
Early in the 20th Century, the main train depot was moved from a location prone to flooding to here just south of the downtown area. With 850,000 square feet/79,000 square meters and a 95 foot/29 meter high ceiling in the Great Hall – in which three 3,500 pound/1,600 kg chandeliers hang – the Union Station was the second largest train station in the U.S. when it was completed in 1914. Passenger traffic peaked in 1945 with some 678,363 people passing through – it is said that half of America’s soldiers involved in World War II passed through Union Station – as opposed to only some 32,842 in 1973 with the decline of rail travel. After a few starts and stops, renovation of the train depot began in earnest in 1997 with local tax increases accounting for half of the $250 million charge. Today, Union Station is run by a non-profit corporation – not only is Union Station non-profit, but it loses money to boot – and a couple of restaurants and museums are located within, as well as the Amtrak passenger service terminal on the west side. Out in front of the Station, waters of the Bloch Fountain dance. A pedestrian skywalk connects the Station with the nearby Crown Plaza.
Union Station is a beautiful old train station originally opened in 1914. It was closed in the 1980's and sat neglected and empty till it's renovation in 1999. The Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers and the six-foot wide clock hanging in the Station's central arch is a marvel in itself. This former train station retains its beauty and now contains a science museum, traveling exhibits and restaurants. Amtrak still runs nearby.
What once was a dilapidated heap of fallen plaster, sooty walls and puddled floors has been restored to a landmark of shining marble and ornately painted ceilings that some say stands as a landmark of what a united Kansas City metropolitan area can accomplish.
The station, renovated at a cost of $250 million, houses Science City, an interactive museum run by the Kansas City Museum, as well as theaters, shops and restaurants.
A visit to Union Station and Science City is fun for the whole family. Inside Union Station there are numerous things to see and do. You can have a fine meal or just a snack, visit Science City, watch a movie, take a tour of Union Station, view historic photos in the Harvey House Food Court, visit the free exhibit of the Union Station Stories that explains the history of the station, view antiques and artifacts from the 'glory days' of the train travel in and out of the station and view special traveling shows. It's just a lot of fun...especially for children
See My Union Station Travelogue for more pictures
On one trip to KC my wife and I spent the entire day at Union Station. We saw a movie in the giant screen theater. We went to the history museum. We shopped and ate there. We spent hours in Science City. Science City is supposed to be for kids but I had fun there also. Fun place for the young at heart.
The great old train station has been turned in to a historical and entertainment center.
Union Station in downtown KCMO is a grand old lady, still beautiful and friendly. Nice book store and other shops and places to eat. The KC railroad exhibit is nice, but for a $7 ticket, most of the displays were not in working order, there was no staff on hand to take our tickets or answer questions. The model train display is impressive and FREE! Save your parking fee by parking at the old freight depot across the tracks from Union Station and its also free. Walk over the elevated walkway and watch the trains go by. There are many displays and exhibits to see, all cost a fee of some sort. Go by and enjoy.
Union station was one of those grand old train stations when rail travel was king. The restoration is really beutiful, and it still serves AMTRAK as a depot. But what is best is the preserved and restored building. It houses shops and restaurants, as well as a great science museum that is fun for the whole family.
"Meet me under the clock." For several generations of Kansas Citians, that meant only one thing - let's get together under the clock at Union Station. At a time when rail travel was at its peak in the US, and particularly during World War II, this grandiose train station was a whirlwind of activity. The north waiting room alone would hold up to 10,000 people.
Union Station dates back to 1914. In 1933 it was the site of the Union Station Massacre in which Pretty Boy Floyd and his accomplices attempted to free convicted murderer and gangster Frank Nash who, a bloody shootout in which Nash and three lawmen were killed. As a result of this affair, J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling FBI was given increased powers and funding. Ask somebody familiar with the building to show you the bullet holes. Some say these aren't really bullet holes from the shootout, but there are always nay-sayers about.
In the 1980s, the grand old lady was boarded up, home to pigeons. Millions of dollars were spent to completely restore the station, and it is now home to restaurants and shops, Science City, a new train museum, theatre, and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, often bringing exciting temporary exhibits to the city.
We went to a wonderful celebration at the Union Station downtown Kansas City. It was for the Memorial Day holiday. They had the Kansas City Symphony play a patriotic concert, then there were fireworks over Liberty Memorial afterwards. They announced that there were 24,000 people attending the event this year. This was a free performance.
Check out my Kansas City Travelogues for more pictures of this event.
The ceilings and walls hold a lot of great architecture done in style back in the days of 1920's. Color is still there after the renovation, and made to replicate the original look