GP is pleased to announce that the Chicago Union Station restoration was awarded the Crombie Taylor Award for Preservation and Restoration from the American Institute of Architects, Illinois Chapter.
Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and completed in 1925, Chicago Union Station is one of the last grand railway stations, and its Great Hall is one of the great civic spaces of Illinois. The recent rehabilitation of the station encompasses a 10-year stewardship and preservation effort that culminates with the restoration of the 78,000-square-foot Great Hall and its 18,000-square foot vaulted skylight.
For years, the original cast-iron skylight assembly suffered extensive water infiltration from glazing, flashing and drainage failures, with resultant damage to the Beaux-Arts ornamental plaster and painting, and integrated sculptural artwork. Various repairs were unsuccessful and covered the exterior joinery, dramatically reducing natural light in the interior.
Following a 16-month forensic investigation and review of technical, aesthetic and historic integrity issues with four preservation agencies and consultations with civic parties, the project team designed an energy-efficient, watertight skylight supported five feet above the historic skylight.
"Wonderfully considered and executed renovation of one of the most wonderful public spaces in Chicago," a juror commented.
The construction involved an innovative suspended work deck hung from the roof girders in place of conventional floor-mounted scaffolding, which minimized interruption to daily travelers. The new high-performance skylight protects the building’s historic skylight, brightening the Great Hall and saving energy. The 42-month project also included structural code improvements, new plumbing, plaster repair, restored ornamentation, and new/historic lighting, as well as the restoration of two original figural sculptures by noted artist Henry Hering.
The finished project restores the former glory of the Great Hall, and Chicago Union Station returns as a vital, vibrant major rail gateway to the city for the next 100 years.