Originally constructed in 1914 as a massive railroad terminal, Union Station quickly became a centering point for commerce, culture and community. Today, over 100 years later, Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – has reclaimed those monikers and added more. Today, this historic self-sustaining landmark located in the heart of downtown Kansas City is where our citizens connect, create, discover and celebrate. We incubate young businesses. We teach young students. We deliver world-class exhibitions. And, of course, we celebrate and inspire an entire Greater Kansas City community.
What the critical Bi-State initiative helped save and reopen in 1999, we now carefully and thoughtfully grow and guide to meet the needs of Kansas City for the next 100 years. And Kansas City’s Science Center, Science City, serves as our foundation and filter, informing so many of our decisions. That strategy is paying off . . . BIG!
At more than 80,000 square feet, Science City was most recently recognized internationally with a “Best Visitor Experience” award by a prestigious group of industry peers representing 650 science centers from 50 countries. More important validation, however, is a rapidly growing Science City guest count, year-over-year and driven by an organized and aggressive long-term strategy with a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Indeed, young minds come here to grow. And where they go from here is without limits.
In addition to our marquee Science Center, Union Station also proudly features our wildly popular Model Train Exhibit; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, City Stage featuring live theater, a selection of unique shops and restaurants, and prominent area civic organizations and businesses. And our Bank of America Gallery regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions, such as The Discovery of King Tut, Titanic and more. As for community gatherings, Union Station has become Kansas City’s living room and front porch.
For Greater Kansas City, this “Paris of the Plains” future has never looked so bright. All roads lead to our hometown - the center of the nation, the heart of America, in two states connected by location and a sense of purpose. A place that feels like main street, USA but has become a major destination. A place with Midwestern hospitality but still on the leading edge. Union Station stands as the center and in the center of it all . . . just as it did 100 years ago. What an amazing success story of survival, determination and right purpose. Not only an architectural masterpiece, Union Station is living history and investing in the strength and vibrancy of a community to serve many generations to come.