People wandering the grand halls of Kansas City’s Union Station the past few days have been looking upward toward the majestic ceilings.
That’s because almost 100 feet above them, painting specialist Christian Carlson, with the Jackson Painting Co., is on a lift doing some touch-up work on the ceiling.
The painting project is part of Union Station’s ongoing preservation efforts. The historical building is 102 years old this year.
“It’s a great privilege and responsibility to maintain Kansas City’s historic home,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said in a press release. “Many maintenance items are behind the scenes but still critically important. When it comes to our magnificent ceilings, however, everyone notices and is as fascinated as if we were preserving a Renaissance Masterpiece. To us, that’s exactly what we’re doing!”
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For Carlson, one of the challenges to completing the project is trying to match his paint with the colors used by the original painters.
Union Station’s marketing program manager Leigh Culbert noted that autographs by painters from the building’s original work in 1914 and its restoration in 1999 have been discovered.
Along with the painting project, all the light bulbs in the chandeliers in the Grand Hall are being changed. The high-efficiency bulbs have a lifespan of 18,000 hours. Each chandelier weighs 3,500 pounds, measures 12 feet in diameter and uses more than a half mile of wiring.
The project is scheduled to be completed this week.