Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, October 28, 2010

King Street Station To Get $18 Million Facelift

Posted by on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Big Clock
  • SDOT
  • Big Clock
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.

 

Comments (30) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Uh, that's a picture of Union Station.
Posted by nullbull on October 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

How about a direct connection from Sounder to LINK without going up and down stairs?

Or is terra cotta more important.....?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Riya Bhattacharjee 3
sorry my bad. wrong pic!
Posted by Riya Bhattacharjee on October 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM · Report this
4
And you spelled Murray wrong. And there's a subject-verb agreement problem in "King Street station is part of 54 rail projects that was awarded $2.4 billion ..."
Posted by bigyaz on October 28, 2010 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 5
Yes, Dear Leader, Terra cotta is more important than the pain it causes your flabby behind to climb those stairs. Besides, there's elevators on both sides if you really want to preserve that cottage cheese look.

As an Amtrak wife, I am quite pleased.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 28, 2010 at 5:10 PM · Report this
meowmeowkitty 6
I am thrilled. This has needed to happen for years. That dropped ceiling is an embarrassment.

Posted by meowmeowkitty on October 28, 2010 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 7
Awesome! Now can we please follow the lead of Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR and move the Greyhound station next to / in the same building as the train station instead of all the way across downtown?
Posted by Westlake, son! on October 28, 2010 at 5:23 PM · Report this
8
Catalina, you slay.
The dropped ceiling has been removed, so the original ceiling is visible, and you can see how much work needs to be done to restore it. Many of the original chandeliers and sconces are up too. It's going to be lovely.
Posted by Luckier on October 28, 2010 at 5:26 PM · Report this
M3 9
At least they removed the drop ceiling tiles so you can see how beautiful the building was, and how lovely it could be: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdot_photos…
Posted by M3 on October 28, 2010 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 10
@2, unless you want to cross the train tracks at grade, the most direct connection to the bus tunnel would be to go *down* under the Amtrak/BNSF mainline _and_ the Union Station parking garage's lower level and then up into the bus tunnel.

Tunnel boring machine!
Posted by Westlake, son! on October 28, 2010 at 5:28 PM · Report this
Spicy McHaggis 11
Dino Rossi would call that an earmark. After all trains are 19th century technology.
Posted by Spicy McHaggis on October 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 12
At $300K per job, I don't know if I'd brag about the stimulus aspect of this of this project.
Posted by Free Lunch on October 28, 2010 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
Comrade Rossi would rather this money went to his comrades in Nevada, instead of our state.

That's what a lack of earmarks means in the real world.

@12 the money is spent locally. Here in America, where it creates more local jobs, instead of outsourced to your comrades in Red China where it doesn't, like with the Deeply Boring Tunnel on SR-99 built by a foreign firm.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM · Report this
14
Maybe this is a dumb question, but what was the work they were doing on it last year? I recall that King Street Station had scaffolding around the clocktower for much of last year. I thought they had already DONE a reno?
Posted by arts&letters on October 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Gordon Werner 15
There's no "c" in Amtrak
Posted by Gordon Werner on October 28, 2010 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 16
Free lunch, brush up on your reading and math skills, and try not to be so naive.

I'm assuming you are getting the $300k figure by dividing 18 million by 60, which is what the article says are the amount of people currently employed. A closer reading of the article says that 116 jobs will be created, which comes to $142k per worker.

But under your simple-minded mathematic formula, you are assuming that there would be no material costs on the project, or perhaps that those handsomely paid workers would supply their own construction materials, engineering drawings, benefits, etc.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 17

No access to LINK from Sounder.

Seems like a lot of money being spent for dross...but as someone who uses the Sounder, it doesn't address the critical issue of moving people off the train and on to other modalities of transportation.

Even if voters were to approve these funds, seems like a lot of effect Ruling Class waste, rather than helping the people -- many of whom are infirm, or older, and have to cram on the few elevators, or pull themselves up the stairs -- who use the service.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 28, 2010 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
@17 we've got handtrucks to move your wheelchair with.

The ruling class is who is trying to shove your Billionaire's Tunnel down our throats (which we don't need and can't afford) as opposed to useful things like high speed passenger and freight rail which actually makes our entire region more efficient and cuts down on oil imports (since we won't need a Fourth Runway if we build high speed rail on the West Coast).
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 28, 2010 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Fnarf 19
Amtrak intercity buses? WHOO HOO. Oops, I mean FUCK OFF.

What is this, three trains a day? Bailo is not often right, but in this particular case, while his understanding of some basic facts is of course deficient, it is, in fact, a ludicrous civic tragedy that no matter how many billions we spend this idiot city cannot get trains that are RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER into the same station. Instead, we have THREE train stations, one of which isn't even a train station anymore, right in a row, with no way to get between them.

But doing things the right way would have required foresight and interagency cooperation, neither of which are permitted in Seattle.

An underground tunnel between the two would make a lot of sense, which is why it's not being discussed.

Bailo's specific problem could be addressed by barring him from setting foot in Seattle (PLEASE GOD PLEASE), but that doesn't help the rest of the unfortunates.

Speaking of things that don't make a huge amount of sense: I notice that after Sounders games, the stadium always seems to let out just seconds after an Amtrak train arrives, meaning that all the train passengers either have to wade through 36,000 soccer fans or get into one of the waiting cabs, which then has to continue to wait for two hours while all the cars exit the parking lot.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on October 28, 2010 at 6:26 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 20
#18

You and Fnarf have to start practicing for the Look-A-Like contest tomorrow if either of you hopes to take the $500 grand prize.

Here, sing along with me:

I said you wanna be startin' somethin'
You got to be startin' somethin'
I said you wanna be startin' somethin'
You got to be startin' somethin'
It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It's too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You're stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 21
@19 I hate that the damn train people always seem to take the cabs on the random nights we want to take one from either the Mariners or Sounders.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi http://www.zombo.com on October 28, 2010 at 6:34 PM · Report this
22
Ob pedant: It's Amtrak not Amtrack. Sheesh! You don't pay attention to your spell check? Those little red squiggles really do mean you've screwed something up.
Posted by Weekilter on October 28, 2010 at 7:01 PM · Report this
23
How was this federal funding secured? Through an earmark?
Posted by ridia on October 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 24
I don't know what you mean by "close reading," @16. Even holding my phone an inch from my face, I see that this funding has added only 56 jobs over the previous funding.

As much as I appreciate historical renovations, I have to withhold my enthusiasm for this project, considering due to belt-tightening thousands have lost things like basic health care.
Posted by Free Lunch on October 28, 2010 at 7:24 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 25
Again, free lunch, you are assuming that all of the 18 million will be spent on the wages of the laborers directly involved: there would be no construction materials needed, no permitting, no drawings for the workers to work from, just some sort of magical happening that results in a reconstructed building, Those people would be worth far more than 300k each per year, if you ask me,

But in the real world, construction projects are complex. Historical renovations with LEED certification and massive seismic retrofitting are even more complex. They involve scores of engineers, architects, specialized contractors and artisans, as well as highly specialized machinery and specific materials - this isn't just putting up some dumb townhouse complex, or mid-rise office building,

If you want to do some easy inaccurate figuring, go with the 1600 job figure, and base it on ten million. You'll be much closer to the actual number.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM · Report this
MrBaker 26
Last time I was in that station was to see Sonic Youth and Screaming Trees.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on October 28, 2010 at 10:07 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 27
You're thinking of Union Station, dear. A charity I worked with threw a couple of big parties there. It was a dreadful place for music. Like having a party in a giant paper towel tube,
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 29, 2010 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 28
Fnarf, you'd have to tunnel underneath the BNSF mainline and get access either through Union Station (which I think is owned by Vulcan) or under it. It's not about the money. It's about What's in it for them to grant an easement?

And before you get too harsh about our less than elegant transfer options, try going between the LIRR and Metro North. Or between the Metra trains at Chicago Union Station and the El or the Chicago subway system. Or between BART and Caltrain. We're not alone in our mediocrity.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 29, 2010 at 7:45 AM · Report this
Eric F 29
I just hope the "ticketing" fix means travelers won't have to line up to be individually handed seat assignments before boarding the train. Half the joy of a train is, you show up just before it leaves, and you walk onto it, and it leaves.

And agreed on the connection issues. If old European cities can have airports with intercity train stations in the airport, and center city train stations with a dozen tram lines right outside the front doors, then I don't see why American cities can't.
Posted by Eric F on October 29, 2010 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Simone 30
The only problem I had when taking the Sounder to King St. Station was I was unable to find out where to go to catch the LINK. Had to ask amtrak people.
Posted by Simone on October 29, 2010 at 9:41 AM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy