Union Station is about to embark on one of its most significant expansion projects since the massive 1999 renovation which reopened the historic monument. The board has selected Burns & McDonnell to provide a team that would tackle every aspect of the project, including architecture, engineering and construction.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Union Station is about to embark on one of its most significant expansion projects to both the Station and Science City since the massive 1999 renovation which reopened the historic monument. A recent gift valued at more than $360,000 from the Bloch Family Foundation puts this latest project within shouting distance of complete funding.
"The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation truly appreciates the value of Union Station as an iconic Kansas City symbol of what's good and lasting in our community," said David Miles, president of the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation. "We're pleased to support this organization as it aligns with our priorities of education and entrepreneurship. This latest gift is yet another vote of confidence in our community and the place of importance Union Station has to our citizens."
The $7.5 million expansion will modernize the streetscape that welcomes visitors in the front of the Station and provide a bridge to transport drivers and pedestrians to the existing parking garage on the north end of the property. Additionally, and one of the most anticipated features, will be an extension of Science City to the west that will feature an outdoor events plaza for interactive exhibits and community-based events.
In January, Union Station invited firms to compete for this historic development project. After a rigorous review process, the board selected Burns & McDonnell to provide a team that would tackle every aspect of the project, including architecture, engineering and construction.
"We received impressive proposals from firms who have built some of the most recognizable civic and commercial structures in the world," said Bob Regnier, board chairman and real estate committee for Union Station. "Not only did Burns & McDonnell inspire us with their innovative designs and integrated design-build approach, they demonstrated an intimate understanding of our overall vision for the Station and our promise to Kansas City to build and maintain a sustaining, world-class destination. Like Union Station, Burns & McDonnell has called Kansas City home for more than 100 years. That combination of knowing our unique history, paired with a vision for the future, is exactly what we wanted in a partner."
"We are honored to have the opportunity to work on one of Kansas City's most iconic structures," said Greg Graves, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell. "Union Station is where people gather to create some of their most special memories — from a couple's wedding to a child's first visit to Science City. Now, this project will provide you with a completely new experience by connecting the Station's front and backyards that will produce exciting indoor and outdoor spaces unlike anything you've ever experienced at Union Station. We look forward to helping shape the next 100 years of such a beloved Kansas City monument."
The project — launched with $2.25 million in tax credit support from the Missouri Development Finance Board — has gained significant momentum since that early 2014 announcement. Some of the largest donors include the Hall Family Foundation, which provided a lead gift of over $4 million. The Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation also continued its commitment to Union Station with a $250,000 gift to help construct an educational Space Portal as part of the expansion.
"Union Station is on a roll, and the entire community has noticed and even embraced the success," said George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station. "Last year Kansas City celebrated 100 years of Station history. This year, the support continues against a backdrop of a bold, new vision for the next 100 years. The generous Bloch Family Foundation gift allows us to proceed with very visible next steps. The first shovel of dirt turned later this year will once again make history with our demonstrated and expanding commitment to preserving history, celebrating community and educating our next generations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. "
Union Station expects the project to be completed by 2017.
This preliminary rendering provides a view from the innovative bridge that will connect the front and backyards of Union Station.
This preliminary rendering provides an aerial view of the western expansion project that will provide visitors with unique inside and outside spaces, such as an outdoor events plaza for interactive exhibits and community-based events.
About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
Union Station Kansas City is a historical landmark and civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization, driven by its mission of science, history education and entertainment, is home to Kansas City's Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater; and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions and community events. Visit www.unionstation.org for details.
About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a company made up of more than 5,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is proud to be No. 15 on FORTUNE's 2015 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information, visit burnsmcd.com.