On Tuesday, December 3, ENR Midwest held an award ceremony at the Chicago Renaissance Downtown recognizing the 35 Winning Best Projects of 2019.
ENR Midwest's judges carefully curated a list of 97 high-quality entries down to 35 winning entries for this year's ENR Midwest Best Projects competition. One of those winning 35 entries was Berglund Construction's Chicago Union Station Great Hall Restoration project. This project was awarded ENR Midwest 2019 best Government / Public Building project.
Named a Chicago landmark in 2002, the Great Hall is considered Union Station's main attraction with its 219-foot-long barrel-vaulted skylight that soars 115 feet above the ground. Because of extensive leaks in the existing skylight, Union Station hired Berglund to construct a new, higher-performing skylight over the original system.
The primary challenge of this project was performing the work without disrupting the station's daily operations. While Berglund was installing the skylight above, an estimated 130,000 Metra and Amtrak commuters passed through the great hall directly below. To ensure our work didn't interfere with the commuters, a quick deck system was installed below the entire existing skylight. This system hung from the skylight's structural steel beams, so no scaffold legs would take up valuable space on the ground.
To preserve the important historic features of the building, the existing skylight system was refinished, reglazed and left in place. The new, high-performing skylight was constructed five feet above the original and increased natural light by approximately 50 percent.