UNION STATION

Union Station Skyline

DESCRIPTION: Union Station Kansas City—a 501(c)3 non-profit organization—is a 104-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. Recently awarded “Favorite Attraction”, “Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction”, “Favorite Historic Attraction” and “Best of KC”, the organization—dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history—is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science City—powered by Burns & McDonnell; the new Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; the popular Model Railroad Experience; 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. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility annually hosts hundreds of community events and private celebrations of all sizes.

ADDRESS: 30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108.

LOCATION: Just south of downtown Kansas City at Pershing Road and Main Street.

PHONE: 816-460-2020

WEB SITE: www.unionstation.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook-Union Station Kansas City, Twitter-@UnionStationKC, Instagram-unionstationkc

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Union Station was restored and re-opened in 1999, showcasing the original grandeur and beauty of the building. Union Station is now home to many businesses and educational organizations, and currently serves as Kansas City’s civic center for major events and festivals year-round.
  • Internationally awarded and regionally voted “Favorite Family Friendly Attraction” in 2017 and 2018 Science City powered by Burns & McDonnell is the place for inquisitive young minds to create, explore, and experiment with the BIG world of science through hands-on learning and non-stop fun. Nearly 100,000 square feet and featuring over 300 static and interactive exhibits, Science City annually educates and entertains hundreds of thousands of science-thirsty children, families and educators alike.
  • The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium features both educational films and live star tours. Home to a 360-degree dome with a Dual-4K state-of-the-art projection system and 5.1 surround sound system, it’s one of the largest and highest resolution Planetariums in the Midwest.
  • The Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre is the largest screen in the region featuring an 80’ by 53’ screen. Featuring both first run and educational films and documentaries, it seats up to 400 guests. Guests can load up on popcorn and drinks at the concessions stand and all 12:30 pm showings are only $5.  
  • The City Stage Theatre showcases live theater and nighttime entertainment suitable for all ages.
  • Union Station is home to one of Kansas City’s most unique water fountains, the Bloch Fountain. Its dancing jets showcase a synchronized water display every hour on the hour.

HANDS ON ACTIVITIES: With more than 300 interactive and static exhibits both inside and out, education and play go hand-in-hand at Union Station’s Internationally-Awarded Science City. Covering nearly 100,000 square feet of the Union Station campus, guests can learn physics basics with the simple machines playground, explore the intricies of water molecules and conservation, become a maker in the maker studio, take a ride 30 feet off the ground with the sky bike, and more.

HOURS: The Union Station building and the Link to Crown Center: 6 a.m.-midnight. Union Station attractions: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and noon-5 p.m. Sun. Visit the Web site for special seasonal hours.

ADMISSION: There is no cost for admission to the Union Station building.

Attraction tickets are available starting at $5. Theater performances, movies and world-class touring exhibitions require admission.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: Between its attractions, theaters, restaurants and train station, approximately 2 million people visit Union Station every year.

HISTORY: Design for Union Station began in 1906. By the time the Station opened to the public in 1914, the construction cost had topped $6 million. Its first arrival, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Flyer, pulled into the pulled into the Station just after midnight on Nov. 1. Railway use peaked during World War I, with Union Station witnessing the arrivals and departures of more than 79,000 trains.  Passenger traffic began to decline during the '50s and '60s as the airline industry gained momentum. In 1985, Amtrak discontinued its Union Station service.

Passed by voters in 1996, a bi-state cultural sales tax—the first of its kind in the country—funded nearly half of the Station’s $250 million renovation. The remaining money was raised through private donations and federal funding. The fully-restored Station reopened to the public in 1999 with new shops, restaurants, theaters and a science center. Amtrak returned to Union Station in December 2002, offering several daily departures.

A non-profit organization, Union Station is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

WHERE TO GET LUNCH: Union Station houses two full-service restaurants, ranging from casual fare for breakfast and lunch at Harvey’s to excellent steaks and seafood available at Pierpont’s for lunch and dinner. Parisi Coffee Shop offers artisan coffee drinks and snacks. The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory features chocolate treats, ice cream and other novelties. The Times Square Concessionaire, located in the Theatre District on B Level, features snacks and beverages. Several restaurants in the nearby Crossroads Freight House District are accessible via the Station’s Haverty Freight House pedestrian bridge.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: With more than 300 interactive and static exhibits both inside and outdoors, education and play go hand-in-hand at Union Station’s Internationally-Awarded Science City. Covering nearly 100,000 square feet of the Union Station campus, guests can learn physics basics with the simple machines playground, explore the intricies of water molecules and conservation, become a maker in the maker studio, take a ride 30 feet off the ground with the sky bike, and more.

WHAT’S NEARBY: Use the Link walkway to access Crown Center, home to shops, restaurants and entertainment options or visit the Crossroads Arts District via Union Station’s Haverty Freight House pedestrian bridge. The Liberty Memorial, the national World War I Museum, is across the street.

DID YOU KNOW: Nicknamed “Big Ben of the Plains,” the Union Station’s huge 6.5-foot tall, 3-foot thick clock dates back to 1914 and weighs more than 1,100 pounds. Its numerals are each a foot tall. “Meet me under the clock” developed as a popular phrase among visitors looking to reunite with train passengers. Although parts of the clock were replaced during the 1999 renovation to operate more efficiently, the spot below it remains a popular site for marriage proposals and weddings.

DON’T FORGET: Look for the legendary “bullet holes” supposedly left from Kansas City’s famous Union Station Massacre. In 1933, Kansas City made the front page of virtually every newspaper in the nation. On June 17, 1933, convicted mobster Frank Nash (under escort by a team of FBI agents and police officers) was shot and killed outside the Station during a shootout. Four law enforcement officers were also killed. There are marks on the front of the building that for years were rumored to be bullet holes from the shooting, but recent tests by Kansas City police conclude the marks could not have come from bullets. However, the mystery surrounding the legendary holes lives on.

GROUP TOURS: Groups of 15 or more receive discounted package rates with advanced purchase. Call for more information. Any convention visitor in Kansas City can show their convention badge to receive the group rate.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take the MAX to the Union Station/Science City stop or take the Kansas City Streetcar to the Union Station stop (Pershing & Main).

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: 

From the north: Take I-29 to Hwy 169. It will turn into the Broadway Extension. Stay on Broadway across the river and through Downtown to Pershing Road. Turn left on Pershing (east). At the first stoplight, turn left. After you turn, you will see a sign overhead that reads "Union Station West Yards Parking." Enter the large parking lot on the right. Union Station is the large building to the east.

From the south: Take I-35 N and exit at 1C, Southwest Boulevard/Pennway. Turn right (east) on Pennway. Turn right (south) on Broadway Boulevard. Turn left on Pershing (east). At the first stoplight, turn left (north). After you turn, you will see a sign overhead that reads "Union Station West Yards Parking." Enter the large parking lot on the right. Union Station is the large building to the east.

From the east: Take I-70 W to I-670 W, then to the Downtown loop. Exit to I-35 S. Exit at 20th Street. At 20th, turn left (east). Turn right (south) onto Broadway Boulevard. Turn left onto Pershing (east). At the first stoplight, turn left (north). After you turn, you will see a sign overhead that reads "Union Station West Yards Parking." Enter the large parking lot on the right. Union Station is the large building to the east.

From the west: Take I-70 East to I-670. Merge onto I-35 South, and then exit at 20th Street. At 20th, turn left (east). Turn right (south) on Broadway Boulevard. Turn left on Pershing Road (east). At the first stoplight, turn left (north). After you turn, you will see a sign overhead that reads "Union Station West Yards Parking." Enter the large parking lot on the right. Union Station is the large building to the east.

PARKING: Short-term parking is available in Union Station’s Parking Garage; the first 30 minutes is free. Day and long-term parking is also available behind the Station in the West Yards garage. Amtrak patrons can park in the West Yards for $12 per day.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Michael Tritt, chief marketing officer, 816-460-2278 or mtritt@unionstation.org

Media Contacts

Derek Klaus
National & Convention Media:
Derek Klaus
Director of Communications
816-691-3849
dklaus@visitkc.com | Twitter | LinkedIn
Toni Alexander
Regional & KC Media:
Toni Alexander
Communications Manager
816-691-3848
talexander@visitkc.com | LinkedIn
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