King Street Station is set to become Seattle's Grand Central. They already share the same architect (Reed and Stem), and today a $18 million federal transportation grant ensured that the 104-year-old national historic landmark is restored to its original glory.
SDOT will use the funds to make seismic upgrades, enhance space used by Amtrak, and restore historic architecture. Mayor Mike McGinn's office sent a statement saying that the funding will double local jobs created by the project from 60 to 116 and support private development which is expected to add at least 1600 new jobs.
McGinn thanked Congressman Jim McDermott and Senator Patty Murray for helping to secure the funding. King Street Station is one of 54 rail projects that was awarded $2.4 billion by the U.S. Department of Transportation for high-speed intercity passenger rail service.
“It underscores the station’s importance to northwest rail passengers and its significant place in Seattle’s history," McGinn said in a statement. Once complete, King Station will have Amtrak long distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail, and Amtrak intercity buses.
The Seattle Department of Transportation hopes to complete seismic and structural upgrades to the station and its clock tower by 2012. It will use the funds to design new ticketing, baggage, and administrative space. The funds will also help to upgrade the station's energy efficiency to LEED Silver.
The City of Seattle, which acquired the station in 2008, has already spent $11 million on restoration. SDOT has replaced the station's leaking roof with a historically accurate terracotta tile roof, repaired the 245-foot clock tower, and exposed the marble staircase. A recent state audit found that SDOT had received $160,622 in ineligible federal reimbursements for the King Street project. The agency has since corrected the error.