Location: 214 E 4th Street, St. Paul
Nominated by: URS Corporation
Union Depot is a 33-acre site located in St Paul’s Lowertown Historic District. It was originally built in 1881, destroyed by a fire in 1915, then rebuilt between 1917 and 1924. During the passenger rail era boom, the Depot served over 140 trains with more than 20,000 passengers daily. In 1971, portions of the Depot were converted to a mailing sorting facility when the Depot passenger service ended.
In 2007 a Phase I ESA was conducted, identifying the site on federal and state databases: Leaking Underground Storage Tanks, Underground/Aboveground Storage Tanks, Minnesota Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup, Minnesota Spills, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Small Quantity Generator. A Phase II investigation of the site found diesel range organics (DRO), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), arsenic, mercury, buried waste and debris, and buried asbestos-containing materials, totaling to 81,500 cubic yards of impacted soil. Lead-based paint was also used in the structure.
The underutilized public landmark was renovated into a state-of-the-art transit center. It provides passenger railroad tracks, intercity bus platforms, bicycle facilities, and pedestrian access to the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit. While creating new economic vitality in the Lowertown District, it also provides a community gathering space. The project worked closely with the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office and the St. Paul Historic Preservation Committee, while also maintaining strong connections to surrounding businesses and residents throughout the process. The new Depot’s grand opening hosted over 20,000 participants including neighborhood artists, performers, restaurants and community groups. The Depot is on pace for the LEED Gold Certification. The Union Depot is expected to ignite a transformation of the Lowertown neighborhood, and the unique combination of historic preservation and future multi-modal transportation make the project a model for the rest of the country.
$ 43.5 million SAFETEA LU, 1301 federal funds
$ 40 million Federal Railroad Administration
$ 35 million TIGER 1 federal funds
$4 million Federal Transit Administration
$13.7 million State Bond funds
- Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority
- Mortenson Construction
- URS Corporation
- RL Banks & Associates, Inc.
- Field Environmental Consultion
- Hammel, Green and Aberhamson
- Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners
- Luken Architecture
- GA Design LLC
- Close Landscape Architecture +
- Lerch Bates, Inc.
- Eidahl Environmental Design, Inc.
- Commenwealth Cultural Resources Group
- Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc.
- Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
- RL Banks
- Metropolitan Council & Metro Transit
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- City of Saint Paul
- Federal Highway Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- Saint Paul PHC
- State Historic Preservation Office
- Counties Transit Improvement Board
- The Central Corridor
- Jefferson Lines
- Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce; BNSF Railway/Uninion Pacific
- Canadian Pacific
- Minnesota Building Trades Council
- United States Postal Service
- Minnesota High-Speed Rail
- Robert Street Corridor
- Red Rock Corridor
- Gateway Corridor
- Rushline Corridor
- BOMA Saint Pau