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Union Station Case Study

We like to think we’ve seen it all at RamJack. And for the most part, we have.

After decades in business, we’ve encountered just about every foundation problem or project you can have. We’ve also completed projects at all different types of residential and commercial properties – from historic buildings to Sea World to vintage lake houses and cabins across the country.

But setting up an intricate art installation outside of a 106-year-old building? That was a new one even for us.

Last summer, RamJack was contracted to help install “Reflecting Motion” outside of Kansas City’s historic Union Station.

The installation, created by artist Patrick Shearn and his Poetic Kinetics team, was made up of seventy-five thousand reflective strips of holographic film. Each of these were hung from small wires connected to a RamJack anchoring system so that the strips appeared to float freely in the wind.

Of course, Ram Jack’s helical anchors came in handy to keep this floating display in place.

A RamJack crew kicked off the sky sculpture’s installation by installing a number of these anchors, before handing the reigns over to a rigging company to connect the installation to wires.

Just like how the millions of pounds of limestone and granite that built Union Station in 1914 came from places across the U.S., all of the steel installed by RamJack to help hold up the art project – every RamJack project, for that matter – was American.

For the RamJack crew working on this project, a major focus was minimizing their impact on the grounds and traffic. After all, thousands of people visit Union Station each day; keeping them out of harm’s way and leaving no trace of their work after the installation came down were hugely important.

Another hurdle for this RamJack crew was the timing of the project. While it’s not uncommon for RamJack to be sharing a space with other contractors and work crews, on this particular mission they had to coordinate with the artist, construction riggers, the engineer and Union Station itself – all in a short time frame.

When complete, the oblong-shaped looked like a river suspended in the air during a gentle breeze, and perhaps more like rapids during more powerful winds.

After months of dazzling Union Station crowds, “Reflecting Motion” was unfortunately damaged when a severe storm came through the area and left thousands without power.

The installation detached from the wires during the storm, as it was designed to do in high winds. Some of the films were damaged, and as it happened soon before the installation was set to come down, the venue decided to end the project early.

Despite this, it was a well-received project throughout its time at Union Station and was a rousing success for the Poetic Kinetics team and RamJack.

While it’s great to rely on experience to help diagnose or fix a foundation issue, we love it when we get to use creative problem solving on a project we’ve never done before.