Union Station (St. Louis)
St. Louis Union Station
Outside the station is Carl Milles‘ fountain sculpture Meeting Waters
|Location||1820 Market Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63103
|Owned by||Bi-State Development Agency dba Metro|
|Line(s)||St. Louis Metrolink
Metrolink Rail Lines:
|Connections||MetroBus: 4, 41, and 97
Megabus (to Memphis, Tennessee, Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois)
St. Louis Union Station
|Location||St. Louis, Missouri
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||70000888|
|Added to NRHP||December 30, 1970|
|Designated NHL||December 30, 1970|
St. Louis Union Station, a National Historic Landmark, was a passenger intercity train terminal in St. Louis, Missouri. Once the world’s largest and busiest train station, it was converted in the early 1980s into a hotel, shopping center, and entertainment complex. Today, it also continues to serve local rail (MetroLink) transit passengers on the Red and Blue Lines. Amtrak is served a 1/4 mile east from the station at the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center.
The station opened on September 1, 1894, and was owned by the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. Designed by Theodore Link, it included three main areas: the Headhouse, the Midway and the 11.5-acre (47,000 m2) Train Shed. The headhouse originally housed a hotel, a restaurant, passenger waiting rooms and railroad ticketing offices. It featured a gold-leafed Grand Hall, Romanesque arches, a 65-foot (20 m) barrel-vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows. The clock tower is 280 feet (85 m) high.
At its height, the station combined the St. Louis passenger services of 22 railroads, the most of any single terminal in the world. At its opening, it was the world’s largest and busiest railroad station and its trainshed was the largest roof span in the world. In 1903, the station was expanded to accommodate visitors to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
In the 1940s, it handled 100,000 passengers a day. The famous photograph of Harry S. Truman holding aloft the erroneous Chicago Tribune headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman“, was shot at the station as Truman headed back to Washington, DC from Independence, Missouri after the 1948 Presidential election.
The 1940s expansion added a new ticket counter designed as a half-circle and a mural by Louis Grell could be found atop the customer waiting area which depicted the history of St. Louis with an old fashion steam engine, two large steamboats and the Eads Bridge in the background.
As airliners became the preferred mode of long-distance travel and railroad passenger services declined in the 1950s and 1960s, the massive station became obsolete and too expensive to maintain for its original purpose. With the takeover of national rail passenger service by Amtrak in 1971, passenger train service to St. Louis was reduced to only three trains a day. Amtrak stopped using Union Station on October 31, 1978; the six trains daily did not justify such a large facility. The last to leave Union Station was a Chicago-bound Inter-American. Passenger service shifted to an “Amshack” one block east, now the site of the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center.
In August 1985, after a $150 million renovation designed by HOK, Union Station was reopened with a 539-room hotel, shopping mall, restaurants and food court. Federal historic rehabilitation tax credits were used to transform Union Station into one of the city’s most visited attractions. The station rehabilitation by Conrad Schmitt Studios  remains one of the largest adaptive re-use projects in the United States. The hotel is housed in the headhouse and part of the train shed, which also houses a lake and shopping, entertainment and dining establishments. Omni was the original hotel operator, followed by Hyatt Regency Hotel chain and Marriott Hotels.
In January 2010, St. Louis Union Station underwent another major redevelopment, with the expansion of the station’s Marriott Hotel in the main terminal building. The hotel was to take over the Midway area of the station and all stores have been relocated to the train shed shopping arcade. These major improvements and redevelopments were to be finished by 2011, according to Marriott St. Louis Union Station.
MetroLink, the St. Louis light rail mass transit system, serves Union Station from its station directly below the trainshed in the Union Station subway tunnel. The St. Louis Union Station serves the Red Line and Blue Line.
It takes about 30 minutes to travel to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport‘s East and Main Terminals via the Metro Red Line.
St. Louis Union Station has 24-hour taxi service at its north entrance on Market Street.
Approximate travel time by taxi, non-rush hour:
- Downtown St. Louis hotels: 5–8 minutes
- St. Louis International Airport: 25–30 minutes
- MidAmerica St. Louis Airport: 30 minutes
- Gateway Arch/Laclede’s Landing: 8 minutes
- America’s Center/Convention Center: 8–10 minutes
- Midtown/Theatre District: 12 minutes
- Central West End: 10–15 minutes
- Clayton Business District: 15 minutes
Gateway Transportation Station
The city’s major transportation hub station, Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center is located next to Union Station. It serves the city’s rail system and regional bus system MetroBus, Greyhound, Amtrak and city taxi services.
A Red Line MetroLink train leaves Union Station.
- “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- “Union Station”. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- “Historic Station At End Of Line”. Toledo Blade. November 1, 1978. Retrieved 2010-04-25.[dead link]
- Artisans here put skills to work restoring St. Louis train station – The Milwaukee Sentinel – Aug 29, 1985
- Trains could return to St. Louis Union Station
- List of Recovered Buildings[dead link]
- Montesi, Albert and Richard Deposki (2002). St. Louis Union Station. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-1983-9.
- “National Register of Historic Places: Inventory – Nomination Form” (PDF). Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2008-05-30.