Union Station Kansas City

countdown to October 31

centennial Celebration Events



A Spectacular Evening Of Free Festivities


  • Live Concert To Get The Evening Started
  • Activities and Fun For Your Entire Family
  • Official Kansas City Chiefs Red Friday Pep Rally

  • Spellbinding Digital Imagery and Musical Journey by Quixotic, Bazillion and Bic.

    Presented by Ivy Funds, Waddell & Reed, Inc., and National World War I Museum

  • Spectacular Fireworks Finale Launched From Atop Union Station
  • Food and Drink Available For Purchase
Sept. 5th/Red Friday Details
Countdown to Red Friday is ON!
Anubis Gets Dressed for Red Friday
Red Friday in Three Easy Steps
Join The Celebration
Jersey On Anubis?
Yeah, Let's Do That!

Electrifying Digital Show to Celebrate 100 Years of Union Station
What a Night!
Recent Press Coverage

Centennial Celebration Gala Event


An Unforgettable Evening


  • Breathtakingly Recreated 1914 Surroundings
  • Cocktail Attire & Historic Harvey House Menu Inspiration
  • Cocktail Reception & Formal Dinner
  • World-Class Entertainment, Fitting Of Such A Celebration
  • After-Party, Historic Harvey House Style

Contact Jenn Nussbeck at 816-460-2016 or JNussbeck@unionstation.org for more details



Relive Union Station Stories


  • 100 Years of Fascinating Union Station History Presented In Rich & Interactive Formats
  • New 5,000 square foot Permanent Exhibition of Artifacts & Stories
  • Cutting-Edge Virtual History Tour created by VML



100th Anniversary Ceremony & Free Family Activities Fill Union Station


  • Live Music, Entertainment, Lectures, Activities & Tours
  • Classic Movies in Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre
  • Vintage Trains & Railcar Display
  • Celebratory Rededication Ceremony
  • and much more!

About Union Station
Kansas City’s Favorite Landmark

On October 30, 2014, Union Station Kansas City will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. This majestic landmark opened and was dedicated on October 30, 1914. During its opening ceremony, Union Station was heralded as one of the most beautiful train stations in the country and that tradition continues today. Union Station is still considered one of the top 23 train stations in the country. read more

Union Station became the region's transportation hub for decades, serving as the gateway to the West for many people traveling through and moving to other parts of the country. It also was the station where the greatest number of soldiers traveled through on their way to or way home from World Wars I & II. Union Station has been Kansas City’s favorite landmark for decades. During the 1960s and 1970s when train traveled declined and the Station fell into disrepair, citizens from across the region came together to save and restore this historic monument. In 1996, a historic short-term bi-state tax, along with federal dollars and private donations, raised the funds to fully restore the station to its original beauty. Union Station re-opened on November 10, 1999.

Today, Union Station is a thriving civic center for Kansas City, featuring many special attractions and as the host site for big community events, festivals, business and education forums. It also is one of the favorite destinations for visitors and residents. Union Station will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary with a number of special events the weekend of October 30 – November 2, 2014. Details are still being finalized for these events, and will be announced soon. See the full history in the timeline.

Building a Monument
The Construction of Union Station

Union Station celebrates its 99th Anniversary with the opening of a new photographic exhibit, “The Building of a Monument.” This exhibit, which tells the story of Union Station and how it came to be a historic monument in Kansas City and a key transportation hub for the United States, is located on the east wing of first floor on the walkway inside of Union Station toward the Link skywalk to Crown Center. The exhibit features numerous photographs and architectural drawings that depict the building of this majestic structure.

In 1869, a group of far-sighted, entrepreneurial leaders understood the importance a railroad bridge played in the building a new city. Thanks to their commitment, Kansas City won the building rights for the coveted Hannibal Bridge, which secured Kansas City’s future as a transportation crossroads and led to making Kansas City the region’s largest metropolis.

As the city grew, so too did the need for new railroad facilities. In 1878 Union Depot opened in the West Bottoms, near the stockyards and meat packing plants that needed to be near the rails. Within 10 years, Union Depot could not accommodate the growing number of trains and city leaders began agitating for a larger train station. In 1903, a devastating flood left six feet of water in the Depot and put an end to the possibility of a new station in the West Bottoms. Several railroad company leaders were already advocating for a new location for Kansas City’s train station.

After the 1903 flood, 12 railroad companies joined together to form the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company, a new organization that was formed to build the new train station. Negotiations for a new station went on for several years. In 1909 voters in a special election ratified plans for a new train station. A 44-acre site on 23rd Street between Broadway and Grand Avenue was identified as the prime location for the station. Esteemed architect Jarvis Hunt was hired to design Union Station, and he followed the Beaux-Arts style as seen in New York’s Grand Central Station to create the building’s majestic image. Kansas City’s Union Station became the capstone monument of Hunt’s architectural career.

It took three years to build Union Station and cost more than $40 million for the land and the construction. Union Station opened to the largest crowd ever gathered in Kansas City on October 30, 1914.

Today, Kansas City’s Union Station continues to serve as the second busiest railroad center in America and its history of railroading runs very deep. This exhibit is dedicated to all who worked so hard to bring a new Union Station to completion for its opening day on October 30, 1914.

Union Station Through the Years

1903 The second great Kansas City flood consumes the railroad station in the city's West Bottoms district. Rail executives decide to build a new train station on higher ground and in a more central location.

1906 Twelve railroad companies unite to form the Kansas City Terminal Railroad (KCTR). Chicago architect Jarvis Hunt is selected to design the new station.

1911 Construction begins on the massive building. Union Station is designed in the beaux-arts architectural style popular in the United States and France in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

October 30, 1914 Union Station opens to the public. Just after midnight on the morning of Nov. 1, the first train, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Flyer, arrives at Union Station. The station cost nearly $6 million and was part of a $50 million investment by KCTR that also included track additions, switching towers, viaducts and bridges.

1917 Rail traffic peaks during WWI-with 79,368 trains passing through the Station, including 271 trains in one day.

1921 All five World War I allied commanders arrive by train at Union Station and meet together for groundbreaking ceremonies for the Liberty Memorial. Located across the street from Union Station, the Liberty Memorial is a monument dedicated to the men and women who served and died in World War I. The memorial was dedicated in 1926.

June 17, 1933 One of the most infamous dates in Kansas City history is the Union Station Massacre. Convicted mobster Frank Nash, under escort by a team of FBI agents and police officers was shot and killed outside the Station during a shootout. Four law enforcement officers were also killed. There are marks on the front of the building that for years were claimed as bullet holes from the shooting, but tests by Kansas City, Mo. police recently showed the marks could not have come from bullets. However, the myth and the mystery of the incident live on. There were various theories that other mobsters had committed the crime, but the only man ever charged was Adam Richetti who died in Missouri's gas chamber. As result of the massacre, Congress strengthened the power of the FBI.

1945 Passenger traffic hits a record 678,363 travelers with a significant number of America's armed forces personnel passing through Union Station on their way home from World War II.

1950-1970 Passenger rail traffic starts to decline as the airline industry grows.

1968 The Fred Harvey Company operations-including the Westport Room restaurant and retail shops close.

1972 Union Station receives federal designation as a protected structure and is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1973 Passenger traffic drops to only 32,842 for the year. Only six trains a day pass through the Station.

1974 Kansas City approves a development contract with Trizec, a Canadian redevelopment firm, to develop the Station and surrounding property.

1979-1986 Trizec constructs two office buildings, One and Two Pershing Square, on the property around the Station but is unable to make improvements to the building.

1983 The Station closes except for Amtrak's inflatable bubble inside the Grand Hall and the Lobster Pot restaurant. Amtrak leaves in 1985 and the Lobster Pot closes in 1989.

1988 The city of Kansas City, Mo. initiates legal action against the redevelopment company for failing to redevelop the Station.

1994 The City and Trizec agree to settle their six-year lawsuit. A new not-for-profit corporation, Union Station Assistance Corporation (USAC), is established to own the Station.

1996 Voters in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson County in Kansas approve a one-eighth of a cent bi-state sales tax to restore and redevelop Union Station and create a science museum. The tax raised $118 million toward the total $250 million project. The remaining money was raised through private donations and federal funds. The passage of the bi-state tax is thought to be the first of its kind in the history of the United States.

November 10, 1999 Union Station opens to the public once again. The building, restored to its former glory, now includes shops, restaurants, theaters and Science City, an interactive science center.

December 2002 In 2002, Amtrak comes back inside the Station to operate from a renovated $4.6 million passenger boarding and ticketing facility. The U.S. Post Office also sets up an office inside the Station.

September 2005 The KC Rail Experience, a permanent exhibit celebrating both the history of the railroads and Union Station, opens.

2006 Kansas City Southern moves a former train bridge to connect Union Station with the Freight House District that soon evolves into the Crossroads Arts District, also connecting to the burgeoning Downtown development.

2008 a beautiful 20,000-square-foot exhibit gallery is built on lower level to host the world-class traveling exhibits, such as Bodies Revealed, Dinosaurs Unearthed, Diana, and Titanic. Revenues from these traveling exhibits add additional sources of funding that help stabilize the Station.

2010 Union Station’s board and staff recognize that leasing office space inside the Station is another important way to stabilize the Station’s sustainability. Within months, several key civic organizations embrace Union Station as their new home – including the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City Area Life Sciences, Kansas City Election Board and UMKC professional development.

2011 Science City begins and upgrading plan when Burns & McDonnell invests $1.25 million in new exhibits and sponsors The Battle of the Brains contest to get area schools involved in designing another new exhibit.

2012 Science City welcomes the new Science on a Sphere exhibit featuring a giant hanging sphere that projects images across the sphere and shares programs in earth science, planetary science, nature and weather patterns and other science topics.

2013 Science City opens The Science of Energy, which was the winning entry from the Battle of the Brains competition, and was designed by students from Olathe North High School.

March 2013 the fully renovated Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre re-opens and begins offering nature films and first-run movies for the first time. The theatre is wired with a 1 gig connectivity, offering the opportunity for live streams on the large screen for special presentations and conferences.

Tell Us Your Story
Be A Centennial Supporter

Share your story about Union Station

We know that Union Station Kansas City holds very special memories for many people. We invite you to get involved in this celebration by telling us your story of your personal memories of Union Station – or a story of a friend or family member that had a special memory of something that happened at Union Station. Please share your story here and give us your contact information so we can follow up if we need additional information from you.

As part of our 100th Anniversary celebrations, we will share the stories that people share with us about what Union Station meant in their lives.

If you would like to share a photo or video, please send us an email.

Share Your Story

Become a Centennial Supporter

Union Station depends on the gracious and generous support of donors to keep the Station operating at its best. During this Centennial Year, we offer a special opportunity for individuals and families to become a Centennial Supporter. For a $100 fully tax-deductible donation, you will receive:

  • Commemorative Centennial Supporter Certificate and a historic image of Union Station suitable for framing
  • Recognition as a Centennial Supporter on Union Station’s 100th Anniversary website
  • Recognition in the Union Station On Track magazine 100th Anniversary commemorative edition
  • Invitations to Centennial Supporter Previews to the special 100th Anniversary history exhibits that will be featured in 2014
  • Invitation to attend a Union Station History tour, offered at various times throughout 2014
  • 100% Tax-Deductible Donation
Donate Online Now

Or if you prefer, send a check for $100 made out to Union Station Kansas City to:

Joy Torchia
Director, Advancement & Community Relations
Union Station Kansas City
30 W. Pershing Road, Suite 400
Kansas City, MO 64108

Please note: Write "Centennial Supporter" in memo line of your check

List of Supporters

Centennial Celebration SponsorsHip
Become a 100th Anniversary Partner with union station

Union Station has a number of Centennial Celebration sponsorship available for organization to help support special Centennial events that will be hosted at Union Station during the fall of 2014.

See the full list of opportunities here.

We invite individuals and organizations to partner with Union Station in this special Centennial Celebration.

See All Sponsors
Centennial Celebration Leadership

For more information on these sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Jenn Nussbeck
Centennial Celebration Sponsorships
Union Station Development
Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
30 W. Pershing Road, Suite 400
Kansas City, MO 64108

Contact us


100th Anniversary Events Organizer:
Jenn Nussbeck
Union Station Development / Centennial
Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
30 W. Pershing Road, Suite 400
Kansas City, MO 64108


Get event information and details about Union Station's 100 year anniversary in our special FLIPBOOK.

DOWNLOAD A COLLECTION of press-quality contemporary and historical photos (50.4mb zip file).

Kansas City Celebrates at the Station - Fact Sheet

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