Built in 1914, Union Station encompasses 850,000 square feet and originally featured 900 rooms. In its prime as a working train station, accommodated tens of thousands of passengers every year. At its peak during WWII, an estimated one million travelers passed through the Station. The North Waiting Room (now the Sprint Festival Plaza) could hold 10,000 people and the complex included restaurants, a cigar store, barber shop, railroad offices, the nation's largest Railway Express Building (used for shipping freight and mail) as well as a powerhouse providing steam and power.
Closed in the 1980s, the Station sat empty and neglected, escaping demolition on several occasions. In 1996, a historic bi-state initiative was passed to fund the Station's renovation, which was completed in 1999.
The Station is once again a popular destination for the surrounding community just stopping by for lunch or to mail a letter from the post office in the west end of the Grand Hall. The station also draws tourists from all over the world who marvel at 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.
Today's Union Station is filled with fine restaurants and unique shops. And just like in 1914, you can catch the train at Union Station's Amtrak stop.
Union Station also houses the permanent collections and archives for Union Station Kansas City, Inc./Kansas City Museum. To find out more about the collections, visit the Collections & Curatorial Services Department.
To this we've added a permanent rail exhibit called the KC Rail Experience, exhibit spaces for traveling exhibits produced by the Smithsonian and other national organizations, a planetarium, an interactive science center called Science City and a vibrantTheater District featuring giant-screen movies and live theater, and much more.
- Union Station.Org
The Liberty Memorial is located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is the only WW1 Memorial in the United States.
The Guardians located at the top of the spire are Honor (northeast), Courage (southeast), Patriotism (southwest), and Sacrifice (northwest). The Sphinxes guarding the base of the tower have their eyes shielded for two reasons: Memory faces to the east, and has its eyes shielded from the wars in Europe. The wings cover the eyes so as to not look at the horrors of war. Future, facing west, shields its eyes from the unknown.