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Monrovia’s Historic Santa Fe Depot Restoration Near Finishing Point

– Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Originally Slated for Completion Last Year

During the past several months, city staff has been working with a variety of construction and development partners to coordinate the restoration of Monrovia’s Historic Santa Fe Depot.  The work at the Historic Santa Fe Depot has taken longer to complete than they originally anticipated – they initially thought the work would be done by the end of 2017, however, due primarily to historic restoration processes and utility relocation / coordination issues, that hasn’t happened and they are behind schedule a bit.

The good news, though, is that the project is progressing on-budget, and the current construction at the Historic Santa Fe Depot involves painstakingly detailed work to restore one of Monrovia’s most historically significant buildings.  As with most historic restoration projects, there were some unexpected challenges which unfortunately have caused some significant delays.  Most notable have been structural issues that we had to address at the facility.  Additionally, there have been a variety of utility coordination issues at the Historic Santa Fe Depot that they have had to work through as well.

The city is very aware and sensitive to the fact that this project has caused an inconvenience to some and is just as anxious as it is excited to see the project come to a successful conclusion.  However, the City, also knows that it is important to the community that the restoration of the Historic Santa Fe Depot be done right, so that the upgraded building will last another 100 years.

The good news is that the restoration of the exterior of the Historic Santa Fe Depot is coming to a conclusion. Final inspections on the exterior and final utility work will be done within the next few weeks, and once that occurs, they will be able to scale back the construction fencing to allow for partial access of the Station Square Transit Plaza.  This modification will allow pedestrians to pass through to the Gold Line Station through the main promenade at Station Square.

The depot reuses the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway depot, built 1926 in a Spanish colonial-revival style. The 1926 station replaced a wooden depot built on the site in 1886 by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad used until 1972. Installed in 1887, a mule-drawn railway, a single passenger car, called the Myrtle Avenue Railroad at that time ran from the Monrovia station up Myrtle Ave to downtown Monrovia. On the way back down to the rail station, the mule was loaded onto a flatcar and downhill gravity took the cars back to the station. By the early 1920s the mule-streetcar system was removed. In 1906 the Pacific Electric rail car arrived in Monrovia.

In 2018 Station Square will be a hub of new business activity with a new massive mixed use apartment complex adjacent to the Gold Line, a trend in all Gold Line cities.

January 18, 2018

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