Mike McGinn, Mayor
10/21/2008 12:35:00 PM
Richard Sheridan (206) 684-8540
Landmark structure’s clock tower regains original form
SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) today finished removing the large antenna mast from the clock tower of King Street Station. As part of the restoration of the historic terminal, the department took down the 45-foot tall mast and two nine-foot wide microwave dishes over two days. Once used for railroad communications, the 1960s era equipment had long marred the beauty of the 245-foot clock tower, which was modeled after the San Marco bell tower of Venice, Italy.
This work is yet another component of the city’s $26.5 million restoration of the 102-year-old railroad station. SDOT is now replacing the leaking roof and has already fixed broken station windows, repaired the four clocks and mended the neon “King Street Station” sign over Jackson Street Plaza. Refurbishing the tower’s windows and restoring the original clock lighting will soon follow. 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.
Returned to its original grandeur, King Street Station will be transformed into a modern transportation hub and will support connections for south Seattle and beyond. The city’s goal is to have a centralized boarding point for Amtrak long distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail and Amtrak intercity buses, with convenient access to Metro buses and, in the future, Link light rail and the Seattle Streetcar.
Contributions from the city, state and federal governments are funding the restoration effort. 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 Stem, the architectural firm responsible for New York City’s celebrated Grand Central Terminal, designed the terminal. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
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.