Trains, history and small towns

steve wallet architect train station gateway watercolor 2014-11-16
steve wallet architect train station gateway dusk 2014-11-16Many small Midwestern towns have historic but derelict train stations on long unused rail lines. The station and tracks tend to be poorly located in the towns because the commercial centers have moved since the stations were originally built. Today, if they exist at all, the old depots are disconnected urban fragments.

steve wallet architect train station bike trail farmers market day 2014-11-16
This proposal, conceived of and designed by James B Guthrie, AIA of the Miletus Group, illustrates how they can be transformed to become assets that weave a town back together.

steve wallet architect train station gateway bird's eye 2014-11-16
In this design, the historic train station is relocated, placed alongside a second set of abandoned tracks in a central location next to Main Street. The restored depot becomes a gateway to the town and the central business district. The station houses retail shops, a cafe and a railroad and history museum. Restored rolling stock is placed on the tracks next to the station as part of the new train museum. The old rail lines and railroad right-of-way become a linear park, pedestrian and bike trail that connects to similar trails in the region. The station serves as a trail head.

steve wallet architect train station down tracks night 2014-11-16
I made these renderings with James to illustrate the possibilities of this concept:

.connecting currently fragmented parts of the town
.connecting the town to its history
.creating a gateway to the town
.creating a center for community activity with the permanent shops and museum as well as events such as farmers’ markets and performances.steve wallet architect train station cafe day 2014-11-16

One thought on “Trains, history and small towns”

  1. I really like this. The depots in Minneapolis/St Paul are starting to come alive. In a western suburb, Hopkins, an old Depot is now a coffee shop on a bike trail. In St Paul, the long abandoned Union Depot, has undergone extensive remodeling & refurbishing, so that it now houses restaurants & shops, while serving as a new transit hub for buses, the eastern end of the wildly successful, recently opened Green Line LRT, and the relocated station for Amtrak. The Green Line just opened in mid-june and by September it already has been clocking > 1,000,000 riders/month, already surpassing the projections for 2015, and even getting not that far off to those for 2030. We think that with those numbers for the Green Line, the Blue Line ridership will also increase, now that they can connect to something.

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