Union Station opened to the public in 1914, costing nearly $6 million and was part of a $50 million investment by twelve railroad companies united to form the Kansas City Terminal Railroad (KCTR). Encompassing 850,000 square feet, the station boasts 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers in the Grand Hall as well as the six-foot wide clock hanging in the Station's central arch.
In its prime as a working train station, Union Station accommodated tens of thousands of passengers every year. During World War II, an estimated one million travelers passed through the Station. The North Waiting Room (now the Sprint Festival Plaza) could hold 10,000 people; 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.
Due to the decline in railroad transportation and the airline industry soaring, Union Station closed in the 1980s, sitting empty and neglected, barely escaping demolition on several occasions. In 1996, a historic bi-state initiative was passed to fund the Station's renovation, which was completed in 1999.
With the original grandeur of Union Station restored, and its rich history enveloping every corner, it was a natural choice for Kansas City Fashion Week's Fall 2013 Show. KCFW Executive Director, Teisha Barber, is confident the event space will prove to be a showstopper. “The historical value, rich architecture and luxurious feel of Union Station are bound to take Kansas City Fashion Week to the next level. Our photographers, designers and partners are enthusiastic about the added value Union Station will bring to the event.”
Union Station joins Hotel Phillips, KCFW official hotel sponsor, as one of the premiere historical Kansas City landmarks to join the Kansas City Fashion Week enterprise.
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