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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Union Station, Chicago


civic cathedral:
big benches almost empty
at Union Station



I can still remember -- particularly around major holidays -- when Union Station was packed. There were throngs of people, all ages. Train stations had a grandeur and civic significance that airports really don't. In Chicago at the recent ALA conference, I visited the station and although the building seems lovingly restored, it was nearly deserted, as this photo records.

The other thing I love is that the broad marble steps into the station are scooped out -- the weight of millions of footsteps.

2 comments:

Suzanne said...

I remember other "scooped out" marble steps in Illinois: the main entrance to the UI-UC library and the steps to the Art Institute. I always loved thinking about the thousands of others who had preceeded me as I went up those stairs.

datamuse said...

Last year I went to Greece. My hotel in Athens was in the Plaka, a touristy area near the Acropolis. I remember visiting a Roman-era agora (marketplace or gathering place) my first day in town and seeing scooped-out marble steps there, as well. Imagine how many thousands of feet have gone up and down those stairs!