Widgets Magazine
  • Plans to renovate historic Union Station move forward

    On Wednesday, the Parks Subcommittee of the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board reviewed a preliminary report regarding the next steps in the proposed Union Station renovation.

    Earlier this year, the MAPS 3 Board voted to allocation $10 million in excess sales tax collection to the project.

    Union Station opened in 1930 and was once a bustling passenger railway station but has been virtually unused for decades, apart from serving as the current home for the Central Oklahoma Transporation and Parking Authority.

    The 55,000 square foot structure sits at the southern end of Scissortail Park which is scheduled to be complete this fall.

    Architects GSB presented a plan that would include a park welcome center and gift shop, a cafe, event halls, a history center, conference and meeting rooms, a classroom, tenant spaces, commercial kitchen, restrooms and offices for park administration.

    The centerpiece would be the former main waiting room and its soaring, coffered ceilings which would be converted to a multipurpose room and used for a variety of events. Under the plan, the old train ticket windows would serve as a bar and the hanging art deco light fixtures would be restored in what would be titled East Hall. (First rendering above depicts the new space with the original waiting room shown below.)

    A small cafe would occupy what was once a large area outside the east restrooms and include outdoor seating on the large covered patio and on the North Plaza in a new patio area on the site on a current circle drive just to the south of the new park lake.

    Under the plan a marble-lined tunnel that once led to train tracks would be leveled and used for small gatherings.

    Part of the south docks once used primarily for mail delivery would be converted to another multipurpose hall.

    Outside, the nicely preserved structure would get new lighting to provide a focal for park visitors. Extensive landscaping would replace the east parking area and help connect the station to the park itself.

    The total cost of the project is over $29 million.

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