Union Station to celebrate centennial
By Tony Graf email@example.com August 8, 2012 8:32PM
A view of Union Station Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 50 E. Jefferson St. in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:30PM
JOLIET — Next stop, the century mark.
A banquet and reception celebrating the centennial of downtown Joliet’s Union Station will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 in the station’s Grand Ballroom, 50 E. Jefferson St.
This event will be exactly 100 years to the day after the original 1912 banquet observing the station’s completion. The centennial celebration is being held by the Blackhawk Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Construction of Union Station was part of a municipal project to improve rail transportation through track elevation and a new facility, the Blackhawk Chapter said in its announcement. Union Station replaced four separate stations that were operated by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad; the Chicago & Alton; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; and the Michigan Central, the chapter said.
“The interior of this building is finished in polished Tennessee marble; the lighting fixtures in the main lobby and waiting room are bronze. The ticket desk is made of a single slab of Belgian marble, 57 feet long, 38 inches wide and 5 inches thick,” the announcement said.
This month, work is to begin on a transportation center in Joliet, a major project that will give downtown a new look and make life better for train commuters.
The center will include the historic Union Station, along with two new smaller buildings — a bus and train station — that will be designed with limestone to complement but not replicate Union Station.
The new transportation center will affect about six city blocks downtown.
The October banquet is being held by the same group that commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Lockport train station in 2010.
On Oct. 14, the reception and cocktail hour will be from 1 to 2 p.m. The banquet dinner will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Programs will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
The cost is $50 per person, advance reservations only. Deadline is Sept. 21. Make check or money order payable to Blackhawk Chapter, NRHS, and mail it to Blackhawk Chapter, NRHS, 2009 Boehme St., Lockport, IL 60441-4611.
Visit online at www.blackhawknrhs.org.