Department of Transportation Scott Kubly, Director
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King Street Station Restoration

Updated: April 26, 2016

Join the conversation: ARTSaboard at King Street Station

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
5:30 – 7 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m.
Third floor, King Street Station
303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
RSVP here

Seattle is transforming the upper floors of King Street Station into a cultural hub. To create a dynamic and vibrant space that meets the community's needs we need to hear from you. Beginning with the first public meeting in May there will be a six-month series of focus groups and public meetings that will culminate with a plan identifying the needs of the Seattle cultural community, using a race and social justice lens. This will be a working meeting, where we'll explore the possibilities for the space. Bring your ideas, imagination and be inspired by the possibilities.

Can't make this one? Don't worry – there will be many more opportunities for you to shape the future of King Street Station. For updates and information about future meetings, visit

4/13/16 Murray announces engagement plan for King Street Station

Find out more at

2/19/16 City Council Transportation Committee presentation
King Street Station Amtrak Lease Authorization

Before & After June 2008 - June 2013

When the station was opened to the public in May 1906, its grand waiting room had ornamental plaster ceilings.  The plaster walls were interspersed with fluted Corinthian columns.  The lower part of the walls and columns have white marble accented with glass mosaic tiles in white, green, red and gold.  A massive bronze chandelier hung in the center of the main waiting room.  Along with four smaller chandeliers and wall sconces, they  provided illumination for the passengers inside the station.  The terrazzo floor has inlaid square mosaic tiles.  This created a compass shaped pattern at the station entrance and other rectangular patterns throughout the rest of the areas.

A series of renovations in the 1940s, 50s and 60s have removed the plaster and marble walls, glass mosaic tiles and covered the plaster ceiling with acoustical tiles.  The historic light fixtures were replaced with fluorescent lights.  The terrazzo floor was cracked and in disrepair.

Phase 2B seismic upgrade of the station also includes the restoration of the first floor public areas’ finishes to the exact originals  that were lost to the renovations.  All work was done according to historic preservation guidelines established by the Federal Government’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.  When the station opens to the public, visitors will again be dazzled by the charm of the restored main waiting room.  The finishes portion of the project accounts for less than 13% of the total station rehabilitation budget.

Podcast: King Street Station Restoration Project Overview


King Street Station is a public asset that is an important part of Seattle’s history. For over one hundred years it has improved connections, serving as a gateway for millions of travelers coming into Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The station has spurred economic growth and helped establish Seattle as a major metropolitan city.

Unfortunately, heavy use and neglect over time have caused King Street Station to fall into disrepair. For years the station has been unable to keep up with the demands of a growing number of commuters and travelers.

March 5, 2008 marked the start of a new era for King Street Station with the City of Seattle’s purchase of the landmark building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company.

Under city ownership, King Street Station will undergo a $50 million renovation that will achieve the following goals:

  • Restore the building’s historic character and grandeur
  • Upgrade facilities to meet present and future needs of rail and transit users
  • Enhance passenger safety and security
  • Promote sustainable design with a LEED building certification
  • Support efforts to transform the station into a modern transit hub

Scope of work

  • Replace existing roof with original terra cotta tile roof
  • Repair lighting and remove microwave dish on clock tower
  • Fix the four tower clocks to make them operational
  • Restore interior finishes and exterior building facade
  • Remove suspended tiles from lobby to restore original ornate ceiling
  • Complete seismic and structural upgrades
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