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Union Station: Reflections After 100 Years

August 27, 2014

Books are available for purchase at the Union Station Ticketing Office

• A foreword by Michael R. Haverty, former executive chairman of Kansas City Southern
• Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs in 128 richly illustrated pages
• Essays by Kansas City writer, Kevin Murphy, chronicling the station’s century

This book is made possible by funding from the Michael R. & Marlys Haverty Family Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation.

Be the First to own a signed and numbered limited edition copy!
Only 250 signed and numbered books will be available to order for just $39.95.

Q&A With The Photographer: Roy Inman

Q: When you started out as a photographer, how did you envision your career unfolding?
A: I actually had not planned on being a photographer this long. My goal was to be a picture editor but for a variety of reasons that did not work out. I have probably had  a more varied career, from assignments with the Navy in the Pacific, to riding in-and driving-the Goodyear Blimp.

Q: What is your favorite photo of Union Station?
A: “Dusk Station,” the black and white image that I shot from across the street in Washington Park. For one thing, it is another of those photos that we can never get again-The Link now blocks the view. I watched and waited for three years for all of the elements to come together, and the very day after I struck that likeness construction on The Link began.

Q: Would you consider this book a highlight of your career?
A: Yep, it is definitely a highlight! I had been trying for the last 20 years to get the book published. 

Q: What makes this book particularly unique or special?
A: I am aware of only one other book that has Union Station as its primary subject: Jeff’s Spivak’s Union Station: Kansas City, also a Star Books publication. What is different about this new book is that it is seen through my eyes. Because of the incredible opportunity I was given as Photo Historian for Union Station, I was prividleged to witness and photograph events and scenes before, during and after the restoration that were unique and will never come again. The aforementioned “Dusk Station” photograph is one example among many, many others. And since my training and experience has been as a journalist, I was able to interpret in pictures and words what I was seeing and hearing.

Q: What should we expect to see that we haven’t seen before?
A: Lots and lots of photos and recollections never before revealed :)

Q: What makes this book different from other books you’ve created?
A: For starters, I have never spent 20 years on another book. And I  have never shot so many photos of one subject for a book-more than 50,000 of just the restoration, and many thousands since.

Q: How does this book express you as a photographer?
A: I am not the focus. Union Station is the focus. Always has been. I did my best to bring whatever skill and knowledge I possessed to interpret this iconic, one of kind building. My primary purpose in doing this documentation was to share with Union Station fans some of what I had seen. Union Station is important not just for its architecture, although that alone would probably still make it one of Kansas City’s most-beloved places. The REAL significance of Union Station lies in what it represents. During the Time Of Trains, the station was a heroic-size testament to the power of the railroads, the industrial might of America, and to the importance of Kansas City as a Midwest metropolis. But I think the primary reason Union Station survived was because the people of Kansas City have a very personal relationship with the building and its history. I am fond of saying that “Anyone who has been in Kansas City for more than 15 minutes has a Union Station story.”  Folks either caught the train to go visit relatives, met arriving relatives, bade teary farewells during  World War II, not knowing if it was the last time they would ever meet under the clock, and more recently, have attended myriad events, exhibits, Science City and watched films on the Extreme Screen. 

I burned more than 2,000 rolls of film, 500 sheets of film, wore out three cameras, several lights and my back, and if I had it all to do over again, I would :)


Photos By: Roy Inman 

Books are available for purchase at the Union Station Ticketing Office