The iconic Art Deco Chicago Union Station Power House is threatened with demolition.
This streamlined architectural masterpiece was designed in 1931 by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, one of Chicago’s greatest architecture firms. Graham, Anderson, Probst and White designed many of Chicago’s most iconic and beloved landmark buildings including Chicago Union Station, Wrigley Building, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lyric Opera House, Merchandise Mart, and the Old Chicago Main Post Office. The Chicago Union Station Power House should take its honored place among these world-class buildings.
We urge Amtrak to respect this important historic building and encourage the City of Chicago to designate the Chicago Union Station Power House as a Chicago Landmark to protect it from harm.
“Whether its future holds a second life as a data center, an addition to the city’s expanding Riverwalk or something even more distinctive, the building should be saved for future generations to enjoy, Ward Miller said, noting that London’s Tate Modern Museum was once the Bankside Power Station.” (Chicago Sun-Times, Iconic South Loop power station should be saved, 10/9/19)
At the February 3rd Section 106 hearing, Preservation Chicago strongly defended the importance of the historic Union Station Power House and countered many of the claims stated by Amtrak’s development team. Preservation Chicago has been an active and vocal contributor to ongoing Section 106 hearings. Initially, Amtrak leaned strongly towards demolition. Recently, however, Amtrak has signaled a new openness to seriously consider adaptive reuse of the historic structure.
Preservation Chicago applauds 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez for his strong leadership in this effort and for writing letters to the City of Chicago and Amtrak confirming his support for a Chicago Landmark Designation for the Chicago Union Station Power House and a preservation-sensitive outcome for the building.