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Missouri Legislature approves money for Union Hotel work

by Jeff Haldiman | July 7, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Scott McCullough stands near the Amtrak boarding area just outside the former location of the train station. McCullough, who lives in Columbia, was dropped off to catch the train to Chicago to see his father. The Missouri Legislature this year approved funding for repair of the old Union Hotel at the north end of Jefferson Street. The main level housed the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery while the bottom floor served as the Amtrak station until late 2019 when structural integrity issues forced the building to be closed to the public. (Julie Smith/News Tribune photo)

A former 19th century hotel at the foot of the Missouri Capitol may be getting a new life, thanks to funding approved in the recently passed state budget.

The 19th-century Union Hotel, which was built in 1855 and is part of the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, housed the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery and the Amtrak station waiting room until 2019.

A structural inspection of the building, which is owned by the Missouri Office of Administration and managed in cooperation with the state Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson City, determined there were significant problems with the structure, and it was closed in October 2019.

The main problem was the building's brick-and-mortar exterior, in particular a bulge in the north wall on the track side of the building. At the time, state officials said the hotel would remain closed for the foreseeable future due to lack of funding for repairs.

When this year's legislative session began, there was a proposal to make repairs to the Union Hotel. Last week, Gov. Mike Parson signed budget bills that included funding for the repairs, state officials said. In the fiscal year 2023 budget, $14,279,608 is allocated toward the renovations of the Union Hotel.

"The project is expected to be in development during the last quarter of this year," said Chris Moreland, OA public information officer. "Once the project is in development, it is estimated that the Union Hotel project could take a year for design with a two- to three-year construction schedule. There are structural repairs that must be completed as well as interior upgrades, such as making the historic building ADA compliant with accessible bathrooms and an elevator."

Moreland earlier said the project will look to make the building weather tight and improve its water shedding capacity along with making upgrades to the HVAC system.

A temporary Amtrak station in the parking lot of the Jefferson Landing State Historic continues to be used until repairs to the historic building can be made, and Moreland said, "The intent is for the Amtrak station to move back in the Union Hotel."

Print Headline: Legislature approves money for Union Hotel work


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