Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saint Paul Union Depot (SPUD)

The Saint Paul Union Depot was officially reopened to the public on Saturday December 8th, 2012 after months of careful restoration and reconstruction. A few years ago it was somewhat of a eyesore in the Lowertown district of downtown Saint Paul. Most recently, transport based activity from the depot site was in the form of semis hauling mail.

Today SPUD is once again a proper multi-modal transportation hub. While it is not officially multi-modal as of this writing, it will begin serving Amtrak and Jefferson Lines passengers in 2013. In 2014 Metro Green service will serve a station in front of the depot. Regional rail lines are also expected to serve the depot in future years.

In the meantime select Metro Transit and St. Paul bound Minnesota Valley Transit routes serve the depot, providing riders with an attractive location to wait for their ride.

In 2011 I had the opportunity to photograph SPUD during the reconstruction period. Here are some comparative photos:

 Concourse interior on grand opening day:
SPUD Concourse Interior
SPUD Concourse Interior

Concourse interior in 2011:
Union Depot Concourse Interior

Exterior stairwell current and 2011:
 SPUD Stairwell
Union Depot Platform Stairs

Main platform area, current and 2011 (Note: viewed from opposite directions):
SPUD Bus Loop
Union Depot Platform Area

Gate cabinets:
Jefferson Lines Info
Union Depot Gate Cabinet

While these few comparative photos can hardly cover the remarkable transformation, I hope folks can appreciate all the hard work and detail that went into restoring this historic building and site.

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