Date of Award
Master of Architecture
The Chicago Union Station concourse is currently facing major problems with congestion, as well as inadequate additional services that are deemed insufficient. Already operating at or near full capacity during peak hours, the projected growth in the annual ridership of railway transportation will only bring more issues to the station in the coming years. Due to the issues on the concourse, the travelers’ experience in the station is often frustrating and degrades their perception towards the integrity of Union Station and the City of Chicago. The primary objective of this thesis aims to provide design alternatives that will relieve the concourse of its congestion and insufficient services through rehabilitation of its current form to improve the functionality of the space.To understand what caused such issues to arise within the concourse, research and analysis was conducted of the current conditions and history of the station’s facilities. The historical investigation also included research into large railroad stations alike that were created during the same time period of Chicago Union Station, between the years of 1890 and 1930. The analysis showed that much of the concourse issues are attributed to the space being in the basement of an office tower. These results suggest that a redevelopment of the site and its existing structures is necessary towards improving the functionality of the concourse facilities. This proposal will allow the new design to re-establish a connection with the city and enhance the user experience into one of satisfaction and delight.
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