The Waiting Room at Union Station is designed and scaled to be "Entrance" to the City of Chicago. Even someone arriving from New York would know that they had arrived. Someone from Monon, Indiana, arriving on the "Tippecanoe" would certainly know that they had arrived. There is no lack of documented railroad history and nostalgia. Take a look at http://www.american-rails.com/broadway-limited.html. For downstate Hoosiers this will bring back memories http://mononrr.com/ Its hard not to think of the "Untouchables" when seeing the staircase below. But, I forget, this is an architecture blog... The most remakarble thing about Union Station is the planning, allowing multi-level access, for passengers and luggage, and its use of symmetry as an organizing tool. Below, the photo is from the north Canal Street entrance, looking down and across the Waiting Room to what was the women's private waiting area.
Above:The Untouchables Stair
Below: View from the Waiting Room to the Jackson Boulevard entrance
Below: The barrel vaulted Concourse access.
The Architect of Chicago's Union Station, Peirce Anderson of Graham, Anderson, Probst and & White, (with a sculptural assist from Chicagoan Lorado Taft) designed Union Station in Washington DC. Taft is already famous in his own right for his work in Chicago (Fountain of the Great Lakes) and Champaign. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/taft/taftbio.htm Anderson went on to work with Sculptor Henry Hering at the Field Museum, whose allegorical figures of Day and Night will take center stage in our next post.
CHICAGO PHOTOGRAPHS are available for purchase at www.ImagesintheLoop.com