Designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham, Chicago Union Station was completed in 1925 as a dual structure train station - a concourse (which was demolished in 1969 to clear room for the air rights and office buildings) and the familiar Headhouse with the passenger waiting area and Grand Hall made famous in films such as The Untouchables. But Chicago’s monument to passenger rail has not yet been relegated to history.

Professional Services

K&H was tasked with provided structural engineering services for the various scope items associated with providing a new first-class lounge for Amtrak passengers within the Headhouse building of Union Station. The project involved interior renovations of the existing building at the southeast corner of the headhouse building at the concourse and street levels.

K&H’s scope of services included structural design and analysis for a new two-story elevator, a mechanical air handling unit, and a new ‘floating’ staircase to connect the concourse and street levels. Reinforcement of the existing structure was determined to be required for the elevator and staircase, and was also included within the scope of the project. A new elevator pit was provided with new columns and footings in the basement of the building that straddled an existing access ramp used by the building. The staircase structure was analyzed and designed using Rhino and ETABs with a minimal amount of connections to the existing structure in order to give it the “floating” appearance that the architect was envisioning.

Project Images © Amtrak

500 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60606

Systems & Interiors
Structural Rehab / Adaptive Reuse

10/2015 - 06/2016

Homa Ghaemi, Principal
Terry McDonald, Senior Associate II
Robert Lau, Associate V