Built to replace the first Union Station in the United States, meaning that the tracks and facilities were usable by all railroad companies. This immense Romanesque Revival structure helped Indianapolis become second only to Chicago as a hub of railroad traffic in the Midwestern United States.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Closed for use as a railroad station in 1979 and subsequently redeveloped (Woollen Molzan & Partners) as a retail, dining, entertainment, and meeting facility. The facility closed again in 1997. Beginning in 2002, some of the building's space was used to house a charter school.
The train shed to the west currently operates as a hotel and includes 13 hotel suites in restored Pullman Train Cars.
Across the public plaza to the northwest is Pan American Plaza, a postmodern re-interpretation of the Union Station Tower.
The renovation of Union Station was recognized in 1986 with the Monumental Award, representing the most significant visual and physical enhancement in Marion County.
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