A vestige of the era when Chicago reigned as the undisputed rail center of the United States, the station is the last remaining great railroad terminal still in use in Chicago, transporting passengers to places like the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, Ravinia Park and the riverboat casinos. Union Station is also now the home of Amtrak, the juncture between Pennsylvania Station in New York and transcontinental routes reaching West. One of the most historically significant passenger railroad stations in the country, Union Station was constructed during the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age and its architecture speaks to old world railroad romance, the years of fedoras, trolley cars and crowded train stations.
Walk through the concourse level on Canal Street and take in the ornate Beaux-Arts main waiting room, the “Great Hall,” considered one of the country’s great interior public spaces with its vaulted skylight, pink Tennessee marble floors, Corinthian columns and bronze floor torches.
Declared a Chicago Historic Landmark in 2002, Union Station has a cinematic history, too. In the 1987 movie “The Untouchables” an out-of-control baby buggy hurtled down the station’s Canal Street stairs; William Holden starred as a Chicago detective in a film entitled “Union Station”; and in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” a climactic bakery truck chase ends here, with Dermot Mulroney confessing to Julia Roberts in the Great Hall that her jealous sabotage of his wedding was “pretty flattering.”
Centerstage Reviewer: Jean Kwon