Rail hobbyist, Jeff Van Leuvan is on the pedestrian bridge at Kansas City’s Union Station watching the trains.
“This is a Union Pacific train. It is a coal train and it is probably going toward the St. Louis area,” he comments as another train passes by. Van Leuvan says you can watch up to 120 freight trains pass by this bridge daily.
A few decades ago, Union Station was a bustling train hub, but then people started traveling by air and the station fell into disuse and disrepair. Kansas City's grand old train station turned one hundred this year. In this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske discusses the history of the station, how a flood changed its story and the miracle of its survival.
In the middle of the night, a grid of light slowly pans across the darkened facade of Union Station. It's 3 a.m. on Thursday, and a team from Quixotic Fusion is methodically lining up 12 digital projectors to create 3-D images using the station as a movie screen. It's part of the promised spectacle -- which also includes a concert, Chiefs pep rally, and fireworks display -- marking the 100th anniversary of Union Station on Friday night.
Two museum exhibitions currently in Kansas City are using tomb relics to bring ancient times and faraway places to life. These artifacts have survived journeys of thousands of miles and thousands of years.
The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut, has been a subject of fascination ever since his tomb was discovered in 1922. The young king, who died at the age of 19, and his golden treasures have inspired films, fashion, music, travel and exhibitions. The Discovery of King Tut, has toured 20 cities since 2008, and it makes its first stop in North America at Union Station on Friday.
In April, Union Station will be the first venue in North America to host The Discovery of King Tut. The exhibition marks Union Station's largest to date, and includes 1,000 reproductions of artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
After years of discussion, the Kansas City Council Thursday approved a new long-term agreement for the Kansas City Museum. Union Station Kansas City has managed the museum since 2000. The agreement transfers it to the city’s parks and recreation department. But the bulk of the collection remains owned by Union Station.
"This is a very long awaited resolution to a somewhat extended and difficult partnership that we've had with Union Station," says Councilwoman Jan Marcason, who introduced the ordinance before the council. It passed with a unanimous vote.
The Kansas City council is looking at a proposal for the city to take control of the Kansas City Museum and its collection. The move would cut the strained ties between the museum and Union Station, which has managed the museum since 2000.
In 2003, Scott Wagner moved to the city's historic Northeast and got interested in neighborhood issues. A year later, Wagner joined the mayor-appointed Kansas City Museum Advisory Board. "I've been involved now for nine years. I've seen quite a bit in that time," he laughs.
The Kansas City Museum’s house director Christopher Leitch was fired on Monday. Details have not been released because it’s considered a confidential HR matter. But rumors have circulated that this signals the potential closing of the museum and layoffs.
Update, 11:30 a.m.: "We are unchanged in our commitment in working with the city and our management contract to deliver programming for Kansas City Museum, both at Corinthian Hall and elsewhere," said Jerry Baber, chief financial officer of Union Station. "Our operation isn't changing, associated with the Kansas City Museum. Our relationship with the city isn't changing. This is strictly just an employment issue."
Denise Morrison, director of collections and curatorial services at Union Station, will step in as the museum's interim house director.
Blackbeard. Jack Sparrow. Captain Hook. We’ve seen the ships, peg legs, skulls and crossbones. They cross the turbulent high seas on the big screen, in books and in our imaginations. But who were pirates, really?
This Saturday, Union Station opens the doors to its “Real Pirates” exhibit. Local actors and actresses bring to life more than 200 artifacts unearthed from the Whydah , a slave ship hijacked by pirates that sunk during a violent storm in 1717. It’s the first real pirate ship to be found off the coast of the U.S.
The remains of a sunken pirate ship found off of Cape Cod, Mass. in 1984 form the ballast of the traveling National Geographic exhibit Real Pirates, opening June 22 at Union Station. The exhibit also features some 200 artifacts found nearby on the ocean floor and, to heighten its authenticity, Union Station has hired a number of actors who will be playing real and fictitious pirates that visitors will be encouraged to engage.