Imagining Days Gone By in the Great Hall at Chicago's Union Station
Each day, thousands of commuters and travelers pass through Chicago's Union Station. But on an early weekday morning, we stopped for a few minutes to gaze at the splendor of The Great Hall. Envisioned by legendary architect Daniel Burnham and dedicated after his death, The Great Hall hearkens back to days when train travel was a grand adventure rather than a daily commute. After renovations were completed in 2018, The Great Hall again showcases soaring ceilings, decorative rosettes, brass lighting, a glass-enclosed barrel-ceiling, travertine Roman columns and marble staircases. An active station of METRA and AMTRAK, Chicago's Union Station is the fourth busiest railroad station in the US. Whether you're starting or ending a trip here, take a few minutes to visit The Great Hall and enjoy the 1920s feel of this classic train station.
I'm a trained journalist, global traveler and retired business executive who worked for more than 20 years with some of the world's best and largest restaurant enterprises. I left the business world behind, living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, OurTravelCafe.com. There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.