Denver Historic Neighborhoods:
Union Station, a Denver landmark for 133 years, is finally getting a makeover. The train station weathered fire, falling hazards, and a declining interest in the train as a form of transportation. Finally, the entire structure and surrounding blocks will be revamped for the twenty-first century, just in time to captivate a whole new generation of travelers and become one of our premiere Denver historic neighborhoods.
Union Station was designed by architect William E. Taylor on land purchased with $300,000 of borrowed money in what were then the outskirts of Denver. Open to the public in 1881, the building featured a 180-foot Italianate tower, complete with electricity, that was the station’s first casualty when it burnt down in 1894. Another interesting feature, the ornate, 70-ton Welcome Arch that graced the 17th and Wynkoop entrance from 1906 to 1931, was sold for scrap because it posed a hazard to people walking beneath it.
Despite its difficulties, Union Station was immensely popular in its heyday, with 110 trains coming through each day at the turn of the last century. Teddy Roosevelt, Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde were just some of the luminaries who arrived at Union Station.
Union Station revitalization has received an incredible amount of national attention compared to other Denver historic neighborhoods. The overhaul of Union Station’s began on December 3, 2012. Construction workers began turning the 500 foot long building into a mixed-use transportation, residential, retail and dining hub.
The waiting room, or “Great Hall,” will remain public, serving passengers on Amtrak, buses and Denver’s light rail as well as any community visitors. There will be approximately 10 locally-owned stores and restaurants off the Great Hall; the plans also include a 40,000 square foot outdoor plaza. Union Station will also become one of many Denver historic neighborhoods with luxury condos.
The crown jewel of the renovated station will be the 112-room Crawford Hotel set to occupy the upper levels of the building.
The renovation is scheduled to be finished in July, 2014.
Denver Historic Neighborhoods