EarthCam has released a 4K time-lapse video documenting the restoration of the Great Hall at Chicago's iconic Union Station, which was completed in late 2018. Multiple exterior and interior EarthCam cameras captured the progress over a span of 14 months, including the renovation of the 219-foot-long skylight.

The $22 million restoration of the 1925-opened station was funded by Amtrak and completed just in time for the holidays, the rail network's busiest time of the year. To minimize disruption in the Great Hall of Amtrak's fourth-busiest station, Goettsch Partners conceived a suspended working deck for the majority of the final year of work. The skylight, located 115 feet above the floor of the Great Hall, had been blocked by the platform until the last days of construction, when it was slowly revealed to the public.

Union Station's Great Hall before the renovation, image via EarthCam

Crews built an energy-efficient skylight with 858 panes of clear glass five feet above the existing skylight, and the 2,052 pieces of glass in the original were replaced with a textured glass surface. This fix to drainage issues that plagued both the skylight and the walls of the station also allow additional natural light to enter.

Union Station's Great Hall after the renovation, image via EarthCam

The project introduced a new elevator from Canal Street in compliance with modern accessibility standards. Sculptor Henry Hering's statues and 24 ceiling chandeliers have also been restored and illuminated. Chicago Union Station was designed by Daniel Burnham and Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. 

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