The need for a single, centralized station was an important political topic in 19th and 20th-century Chicago, as various competing railroads had built a series of terminal stations. The numerous stations and associated railyards and tracks surrounded the city’s central business district, the Loop, and threatened its expansion. The various stations also made travel difficult for through-travelers, many of whom had to make inconvenient, long, and unpleasant transfers from one station to another through the Loop.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. Union Station in 1915 Chicago.
Chicago Herald and Examiner. Union Station is under construction in an undated photo. The building opened in 1925, after being under construction for over a decade. World War I impeded the construction process.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. People gather in the Great Hall during the official opening day of Union Station in Chicago in 1925.
Chicago Herald and Examiner. Union Station on opening day in 1925.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. Chicago’s Union Station in 1925.
Bob Rea / Chicago Tribune. Union Station ticketman George Robbins takes tickets from a happy crowd going home for the holiday in December 1935.
Bob Rea / Chicago Tribune. Roy Carlson and Charles Gorham give out information to the holiday crowds at Union Station in December 1935.
Chicago Tribune historical photo Members of the Dawn to Dusk club bid farewell to the Zephyr prior to an overnight dash from Chicago to Denver in 1936. “Zeph,” the club’s mascot, joined in the departure festivities.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. A man stands in the floodwaters at Union Station on July 21, 1936, after a water main broke.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. Men work to clear Union Station of floodwater in 1936.
Chicago Tribune historical photo. The Abraham Lincoln pulls out of Union Station on its first run with a diesel-powered engine in May 1936.