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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Construction Begins on Historic King Street Station

9/22/2008  3:20:00 PM

Construction Begins on Historic King Street Station
Restored landmark structure to serve as transportation hub

SEATTLE - Construction started this week on the much-anticipated restoration of the historic King Street Station. On Monday, September 22, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began removing the station’s leaking roof and a new roof, made of terracotta tiles replicating the originals, will be installed starting in mid-October. The roof is the first of many stunning architectural features that will be refurbished through the city of Seattle’s $26.5 million restoration of the 102-year-old railroad station.

Restored to its original grandeur, King Street Station will be transformed into a modern transportation hub equipped to serve Seattle for the next hundred years. It will provide transportation connections for the southern portion of the city, featuring Amtrak long distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail and Amtrak intercity buses, along with convenient access to Metro buses and, in the future, Link Light Rail and the Seattle Streetcar.

Under city ownership, progress has already been made in reviving the landmark facility. SDOT mended and illuminated the neon “King Street Station” sign above Jackson Street Plaza, replaced broken windows, and repaired the four clocks on the building’s signature tower. For the first time in over a decade, Seattleites can once again set their watches by the King Street Station clock, whose 245-foot tower was modeled after the San Marco bell tower of Venice, Italy.

In addition to the roof replacement, which will be completed by March 2009, the station tower’s microwave dish will be removed in October of this year. Additionally, SDOT will refurbish or replace the clock tower’s windows and restore the lighting around the four station clocks. By late 2011, interior finishes and the lobby’s original ornate ceiling will be restored, the grand staircase will be recreated and reopened, and seismic upgrades will be made.

The restoration is being funded by contributions from the city, the state and the federal government. The voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy will provide $10 million, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will offer $16.5 million in state and federal funds.

King Street Station first opened to the public in May 1906. Reed and Stern, the architectural firm responsible for New York City’s celebrated Grand Central Terminal, designed the station. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

During roof replacement this fall, parking restrictions will be necessary, and the work will generate moderate noise and dust. Normal work hours will be 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays, with occasional night time and weekend work. Access to Sounder Commuter Rail and Amtrak trains will be maintained.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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