All aboard for railroad's Golden Age

PC-union station.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
July 23, 2014

The old Union Depot went out with a wild party in the fall of 1914, when the new Union Station on Pershing Road opened for business.

The heyday of Union Avenue had come to a close; the old depot built in the late 1870s had seen its last flood and its last train. After the great floods of 1903 and 1908 that had inundated the depot in close to 10 feet of water each time, city fathers began the process of moving the depot to higher ground.

A site along the OK Creek gully near Gillham Road and 24th Street was chosen, and soon after construction began on what is now Union Station. According to this Valentine Souvenir postcard published in 1916, “The heart of the new Union Station is the Grand Lobby. Built in the form of a “T,” of which the grand lobby forms the cross piece and the North waiting room the stem. Surrounding the lobby are all the public conveniences such as the waiting rooms, post office, telephone and telegraph booths, book store, drug store, smoking rooms and a barber shop. The grand lobby has an area of 22,060 square feet.

The old Union Depot building from the West Bottoms could be placed in the space occupied by the grand lobby and main waiting room alone.” The semi-circular structure jutting out onto the lobby floor is the ticket office where rail line representatives booked passage on everything from standard train seats to berths for families in the popular Pullman sleeper cars.

A maze of tunnels lies underneath the station and were used for shipping of mail to and from the (former) main post office on Pershing Road. The main post office is now housed inside Union Station, which remains one of Kansas City’s grand façades and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Comments are closed.

  • Cemetery vaults held waiting bodies in historic cemetery

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 30, 2016 In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside […]


    Americans give thanks nearly 400 years

    November 23rd, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 23, 2016 What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast […]


    Polished beauty rode the rails

    November 16th, 2016
    by

    Billed as the first streamlined diesel-powered train between St. Louis and Kansas City, the Alton Burlington, Ozark State Zephyr graces the front of this linen era postcard sent to Meyer Supply Company of St. Louis on Feb 23, 1937. Built entirely of stainless steel, the train was the flagship of Burlington Railway…


    Iconic igloo inspires museum memories

    November 9th, 2016
    by

    If you’ve forgotten what the third floor of the Kansas City Museum looked like when your elementary school booked a field trip there, here’s a little refresher for you…


    When the center isn’t really the center

    November 2nd, 2016
    by

    Depending on whom you ask, the geographic center of the United States could be one of four different places, all in various midwestern states.


  • Halloween’s chilling origins

    October 26th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 26, 2016 Halloween traces its origins to the ancient Celtic holiday “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”), […]


    Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    October 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..


    P&L building lights up KC

    October 12th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 12, 2016 Arguably one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the […]


    A royal treat since 1899

    September 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The roots of today’s American Royal can be traced to 1899 when the fledgling event was referred to as the National Hereford Show.


    Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent Kansas City architect of its day.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCPS gets chance to impress DESE with James Elementary tour

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – James Elementary was one of three buildings in […]

    Mural installation at Scarritt Elementary almost finished

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News caught up with Kansas City […]

    Robbery suspect dies after officer-involved shooting

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News November 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A Kansas City, Missouri police officer shot and […]