Kansas City’s historic home – Union Station – underwent an impressive transformation from January 2016 through May 2017. This $8.4 million project was the largest enhancement since the depot’s massive 1999 renovation that restored the monument to its former glory. Included in the five-phased development were improvements to best position the Station for another 100 years. Here’s an overview of what’s new:
Carriage Pavilion Bridge and Pedestrian Walkway – Station visitors and tenants alike now have the option to drive onto Union Station grounds from Pershing Road and take a straight path under the historic Carriage Pavilion directly to the adjacent West Yards Parking Garage. This award-winning new bridge offers one-way traffic into the third level of the four-level, EV (electric vehicle) ready garage. Once parked, a dedicated pedestrian avenue along the structure welcomes guests directly into the main floor (Grand Hall) of the Station.
South Festival Plaza – An beautiful new area along Pershing Road that offers a dramatic location for a variety of outdoor events, festivals and special moments – including weddings. Tying our historic Station to the renovated Block Fountain and Liberty Memorial lawn, this space features beautiful plantings and a 3,000 sq. ft. patio boasting the restored Union Station Lamp Post Clock. In addition, the South Parking Lot has been reconfigured and resurfaced to improve traffic flow, provide more short-term parking spaces, give a safe raised pedestrian walkway to the front of the building, and direct route into our West Yards Parking Garage.
North Festival Area – This entirely new and stunning 2.3 acre outdoor festival area, “Haverty Family Yards”, is a substantial addition of high-function green space ideal for concerts, festivals, seasonal and private event rentals as well as expanded Science City activation space when needed. From intimate to expansive, you name it… Union Station can now host it – outdoors, with the iconic downtown skyline as a backdrop! Reserve your special event in this historically unique space. Contact Stacey Price at SPrice@UnionStation.org for details.
Battle of the Brains III Exhibit – Immediately adjacent to Science City is our first ever outdoor exhibit that presents a remarkable new hands-on experience for all ages! Designed by 3rd graders from Mason Elementary School in partnership with Burns & McDonnell, “Simple Machines At Play” is a 13,582 sq. ft. experiential celebration of elements that help guests lift, pull, push, turn, cut, split and fasten. Together these concepts have been brought to life on a massive scale that allows guests to play and discover like never before. MORE DETAILS
Ticket Office – Now centrally located inside the lower-level Theatre District is our new, state-of-the-art ticket office. Beautiful digital displays present guests with daily activities and future features. And, the overall design incorporates vibrant colors to coordinate with finishes used in the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre and Innovation Center.
Innovation Center / Student Lunchroom – Adjacent to the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre is our new Innovation Center with capabilities to expand to an additional second room. An operable glass wall separates it from the theatre lobby but can also remain open for special events or activities. Audio/Visual equipment is available to accommodate the needs of any affair. Additionally, this area is configured to allow student lunchroom space when needed.
Connecting Portal – A space-themed, new enclosed walkway between Science City, Gottlieb Planetarium, Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, Bank of America Gallery, and Innovation Center / Student Lunchroom, thus allowing for the ultimate guest convenience. All on one level and all for one purpose: to get you where you’re going quicker and more intuitively than ever.
Regnier Extreme Screen Lobby & Theatre Improvements – New, luxury seating has been added to enhance movie and meeting experiences inside the region’s largest first-run theatre screen. Additionally, the Lobby to the Regnier Extreme Screen has been modernized to create one continuous new space ready to welcome receptions, business meetings and expanded events.
Union Station Transit Terminal and Activation Area – With the success of the Kansas City Streetcar, our historic East Entrance now welcomes more visitors than ever. So, this former vehicular turnaround has been repurposed and undergone several substantial functional and beautification improvements for streetcar, bus, bike and other transit users. New garden areas have also been added to enhance the overall aesthetic and offer yet another new activation area as Union Station continues growing our festival and event footprint.
To learn more about Western Expansion, download the most recent article from On Track.