Living History at Union Station

VML | Union Station Kansas City



Kansas City’s Union Station, one of America’s most historic train stations, was approaching its 100th anniversary and was suffering from declining foot traffic. To celebrate its birthday, it first needed to remind people why it was worth celebrating. Enter the Living History app from Union Station Kansas City & VML. Through augmented reality technology, it brought history to life exactly where it took place through filmed reenactments of the station’s most historic events. Users could hold up their phone to see Harry Truman, Ernest Hemingway, and others appear lifelike just where they stood many years before. Users could also insert themselves into scenes and capture photos to share on social media—a vital element to attracting more visitors. One hundred years of history had never been livelier, and that’s something, too, worth celebrating.

“‘Living History at Union Station’ is an elegant marriage of technology and storytelling. The program recognizes the ubiquity of mobile technology and uses that ubiquity to bring a physical space to life in unexpected ways. And the innovative use of mobile beacons takes the idea to another level. There's something almost magical about seeing the past brought to life in the present.”

Zak Treuhaft
Zak Treuhaft
Chief Digital Officer
Formerly of Grey
Select Success Metrics
In-app interactions during opening weekend
Average time spent reliving history
1 hr