A makeover for Union Station?  City seeks federal grant to upgrade iconic train hub

City, state and federal officials have called on the Biden administration to approve a $251 million grant to refurbish Chicago’s Union Station, which would fund wider platforms, upgraded concourses and better ventilation in the venerable transit hub.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, US Senator Dick Durbin and US Representative Jesús “Chuy” Garcia joined state transportation officials to request federal funding for the project as part of the President’s federal infrastructure bill. Joe Biden. Amtrak applied for the funding but has not yet obtained approval, officials said.

Lightfoot said he personally highlighted the importance of the project to US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during his trips to Chicago and said it would be a boon to the region.

“Transportation is something that brings us together,” Lightfoot said.

Durbin said they are “close to the finish line” and hope to hear from the federal government soon.

The iconic building opened in 1925; its initial design was by famed urban planner Daniel Burnham and completed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, according to the station’s website.

But despite the architectural splendor of its Great Hall, Union Station is criticized by commuters for its narrow hallways, low ceilings and crowded platforms.

A proposal to add an apartment block on top of the iconic building was quickly filed.

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