Union Station Here We Come

by

Pam Whiting, Vice President of Communications

November 1, 2010

Chamber staff got a preview of our new office space at Union Station earlier this week.  What fun!

Things are really taking shape.  The last time I saw the space, the crew from JE Dunn was in the middle of demolition.  Dust and debris everywhere and no real sense of what the space would look like.  (Here’s a link to the video of that day’s tour – you’ll see what I mean.)

There was still a lot of dust, but this time it was from sheetrock.  The walls are up and the space is defined.  We now know where we’ll be when we make the move in mid-December.

We also got a look at our new Board Room – the huge room that previously was the site of the Harvey House Diner.  Now our board members won’t have to sit on top of one another when they meet. (Our current board room is – um – a little small sometimes!)

While we’ve loved our space near the top of Commerce Tower, we’re also excited to “live” in Union Station. Walking around the building during our tour, I was once again impressed by the beauty and craftsmanship on display and thankful for the successful effort to save it. View the photos from Monday’s staff tour.

Union Station is a community treasure (and one of my favorite buildings).  It took eight years to construct, opening in October 1914.  At its peak in World War II, it’s estimated that a million travelers passed through the station.

Here’s more from the Union Station website

Union Station encompasses 850,000 square feet and originally featured 900 rooms… The North Waiting Room (now the Sprint Festival Plaza) could hold 10,000 people and the complex included restaurants, a cigar store, barber shop, railroad offices, the nation’s largest Railway Express Building (used for shipping freight and mail) as well as a powerhouse providing steam and power.

Oh, and it also had its own jail.  (Wonder where that was?  Probably on one of the lower levels the public doesn’t see.)

We’ve also heard there are ghosts. 

Mark your calendar now for January 27 – that’s when you’ll get a chance to tour The Chamber’s new offices and Board Room at our January Business After Hours. 

And by that time, the dust will be gone!

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