If you are planning a trip to Kansas City this year, here is something that you should put on your itinerary. There is currently an exhibit about Pompeii at Union Station.
But before I talk about the exhibit, I would like to provide you information about Union Station.
Union Station was opened in 1914 as the major train station in Kansas City. Like in St. Louis the first half of the 20th century was the golden age of train travel and Union Station in Kansas City had one of the largest terminal buildings in the country. At its peak during World War II it is estimated that 600,000 people traveled through the station each year. After the war the interstate highway system and cheaper airfare caused train travel to decline. By the 1970’s train travel was a poor shadow of what it had been before the war. Like many grand train stations, Union Station closed in 1985. For over a decade the station stood empty and abandoned. There were several attempts to redevelop the station, a workable plan was proposed in 1996. The rejuvenated building now provides museums, entertainment, dining, theater and special event space.
The following details were obtained from the Kansas City Union Station webpage.
Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 AD, and sent a cloud of ashes, pumice stones, and smoldering hot volcanic gases high into the sky. People could see the eruptions for hundreds of miles. The debris made its way down to the earth as it began to cool. The volcano had been active for millennia before the eruption of 79, but had been dormant generations, and thus caught the ancient Romans off-guard.
POMPEII: The Exhibition makes its North American premier at Kansas City’s historic Union Station. The exhibition examines the lives of residents of Pompeii before and after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24th, 79 A.D. Nearly 200 artifacts on loan from the collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museum will be displayed when the exhibition opens in November, ten of which will make their North American debut.
Visitors to the exhibition will travel back in time to 79 A.D. when Pompeii bustled as a commercial port and strategic military and trading city. In a media-rich, object-based, immersive experience, they will learn how the people of Pompeii lived, loved, worked, worshipped and found entertainment.
Featuring nearly 200 artifacts, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until rediscovered over 250 years ago. Artifacts – including frescoes, mosaics, and statues from the sites hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until rediscovery over 250 years ago. The sudden disaster that destroyed Pompeii also preserved it and over time archaeologists have uncovered a unique record of its daily life — roads, buildings, municipal services, paintings, mosaics, artifacts, and even preserved bodies. Ongoing excavations at the site provides an ever-evolving picture of everyday life at the height of the Roman Empire.
For details about the exhibit and to purchase tickets go to the Kansas City Union Station webpage http://www.unionstation.org/pompeii
If you do plan a trip, you may wish to take Amtrak. There are two daily trains to Kansas City, which can be boarded either at Downtown or in Kirkwood. Round trip fares start at $60.00, and there are discounts for seniors. Union Station is within walking distance of Kansas City’s famous Crown Plaza, which is a shopping and dining center. For information about taking the, visit the Amtrak webpage www.amtrak.com