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Old October 5th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #121
spyguy
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http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2...restrooms.html

Union Station upgrade: Air-conditioning, more restrooms
Jon Hilkevitch October 4, 2010


The elegant but often-sweaty Great Hall of Chicago Union Station will be air-conditioned by next summer,and other improvements including more restrooms at track level are being added as part of a $40 million rehabilitation project announced today.

...Seating in Amtrak's boarding lounges at Union Station will be expanded to 950 seats, which is almost double the existing capacity, officials said.

The work, scheduled for completion in late 2012, will be followed by redevelopment of Union Station's headhouse building to include retail businesses.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 09:28 PM   #122
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So I'm all for improvements, but does anyone (except charity groups) actually use the Great Hall? It would be nice if they actually gave people a reason to go there, besides the 30-second gawk factor. How about more (and more comfortable) seats, and huge flat screens that show pending departure status. I'd much rather wait there than at one of those cramped Amtrak "lounges".
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Old October 6th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flubnut View Post
So I'm all for improvements, but does anyone (except charity groups) actually use the Great Hall? It would be nice if they actually gave people a reason to go there, besides the 30-second gawk factor. How about more (and more comfortable) seats, and huge flat screens that show pending departure status. I'd much rather wait there than at one of those cramped Amtrak "lounges".
There's a steady stream of people who go through the Great Hall to & from Adams or Jackson. And I've always seen a decent amount of people using the benches.

They definitely need a better information desk. Something modern and circular with a giant clock and departure info for Amtrak/Metra.

Obviously the thing that will help the most is adding more retail. That will only happen if you make improvements like adding AC.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #124
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Flat screen? No, we need a Solari board!

Much as I'd like to see more people in the Great Hall, I'm not sure people will wait so far from their gates. They get very nervous. The designers of O'Hare learned this in the early 60s; the big central waiting areas went virtually unused because people went to the "departure lounge" next to the gate and waited there. At Washington Union Station, people wait in the concourse, not the Great Hall. At New York Penn Station, they wait near the proper stairway.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 03:54 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
I know this design is old, but I like this better than any different designs for the building that other architects may have come up with since then.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 04:21 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I know this design is old, but I like this better than any different designs for the building that other architects may have come up with since then.
There aren't any other designs. That image is the exterior rendering of the only design for renovating union station, the same one that has the cutaway interior section rendering showing the diagrid pattern similar to the Hearst building in NYC.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #127
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http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhal...n-station.html

City Hall releases blueprint for upgrading Union Station

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter [email protected] May 23, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration released a master plan for Union Station on Wednesday that identifies ways to increase capacity and improve the passenger experience at the nation’s third-busiest railroad terminal.

Over the years, there has been no shortage of grand plans for Union Station, which has grown increasingly crowded and uncomfortable for the 120,000 arriving and departing passengers who ride 300 trains into and out of the station every weekday.

The problem is, many of those plans have been too grand and too costly. As a result, it’s been 20 years since the last remodeling.

Now, City Hall is lowering its sights to more realistic short-term projects with identified funding while still maintaining a list of medium- and long-term plans that could be done if the money is ever found.

Short-term projects include: improved station entrances; expanded Amtrak waiting rooms; enhanced bus lanes on Clinton and Canal Streets and construction of an off-street CTA bus terminal on a surface parking lot south of Jackson Boulevard between Canal and Clinton.

The plan says projects that might be delivered in five to 10 years include: reallocating space currently occupied by baggage platforms to make way for wider commuter platforms; converting “unused mail platforms” to accommodate “inter-city passenger trains”; reorganizing existing station facilities to “improve capacity and flow” and rebuilding the Canal Street viaduct above parts of the station in a way that “improves street access” to the station concourse below.

Long-term ideas described as more “visionary” include “expanding or completely replacing” Union Station in the 200 or 300 blocks of South Canal. The master plan also evaluated the concept of adding more “track and platform capacity in one of two alternative underground alignments: Clinton Street or Canal,” according to a press release issued by the city’s Department of Transportation.

Jeff Sriver, project manager for the Union Station master plan, argued that past plans have been too pie-in-the-sky — without the money to pay for those grandiose ideas.

“What we’ve tried to do is to take a step back from the grand, visionary ideas of the past that would have added new track and subway tunnels to bypass Union Station or, perhaps, relied on tearing down existing buildings and building a new structure in their place,” Sriver said.

“What are the steps we can take immediately to more realistically solve some of the urgent problems at Union Station? It’s serving more people during peak periods than it ever has. It was once more for long-distance travelers. Now, most of the traffic is commuters. There’s a lot of congestion on the platforms as well as in the station and getting out of the station. And the problems are only going to get worse.”

Peter Skosey, vice-president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, said the master plan released during a morning meeting on a historic rail car provides a road map to “create a more efficient rail hub that better serves a growing number of passengers.”

The plan also has the potential to “transform this imposing historic structure into a truly great place,” he said.

Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein noted that the number of trains serving Union Station is projected to balloon by 40 percent by 2040, providing the impetus for change.

Without a significant remodeling, the station would be unable to accommodate Metra and Amtrak growth, nor could it serve high-speed rail.

“This important study identifies many opportunities for future improvements to increase the station’s capacity and quality of service,” Klein said.
...
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Old June 11th, 2012, 04:32 AM   #128
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The PDF of the Union Station Master Plan Study

96 pages

..
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