Clinton Street Entrance Reopens At Union Station

Image of reopened entrance space via Audacy

The long shuttered Union Station entrance along S Clinton Street has reopened ahead of extensive work around the structure. Located at 225 S Canal Street near the river, the massive station house has seen a long string of renovations as Amtrak works on restoring one of the nation’s busiest hubs. The entrance itself reopened earlier this week after being closed for over 40 years, finally providing western access to the building.

Historical image of Fred Harvey Lunch Room via Amtrak

Union station originally opened in 1925 nearly 100 years ago; these days it contains 30 platforms and 24 tracks serving multiple long-distance Amtrak and six Metra lines. With over two million passengers a year, the constricted station permanently closed the Clinton Street entrance in 1980 when a fire decimated the space which previously held a Fred Harvey Lunch Room location. Its windows and doors were bricked up and covered, leaving the charred room intact until recently.

Image of reopened entrance via Sun Times

Renderings of future food hall via Curbed

The space features new windows and an elevator which creates a new accessible entrance from the street. Currently a construction barrier with historical Amtrak posters separates a corridor through the space to allow for pedestrian flow, with the greater room being roughed-in for the food hall coming to the station. Currently the space is raw but Amtrak hopes to find a master operator to design, build out, and operate the food hall.

Renderings of future food hall via Curbed

Upcoming work on Canal Street via CDOT

The entrance has also opened right as construction ramps up on replacing the entirety of S Canal Street along the station’s front entrance. The 18-month closure will see the road, which sits above the station itself, completely demolished for the first time since it was built in 1918. This will eventually also close the front doors of the station for a limited time as the sidewalks are replaced and the street is rebuilt with new medians for the many buses that load on it.

At the moment no construction timeline is known for the food hall, but the Canal Street viaduct and roadway should be completed early 2025. Buses are expected to reroute during the work.

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