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Denver Union Station Update #122

It’s been about six weeks since we last looked at the massive Denver Union Station redevelopment so not a lot has changed. However, in our last update we looked at the project from afar and didn’t really get a closer look at all of the great individual elements. Unfortunately, this isn’t an inside tour but, armed with a great zoom lens and thanks to some great vantage points around Union Station, I was able to get some great close up shots. So you can see more detail, I bumped up the resolution on all these photos. Make sure you click to embiggen!

Let’s start off with the 18th Street pedestrian bridge. This is very similar to the Millennium Bridge when coming from Downtown. The elevator will be situated to the left with a bike track on the side of the stairs so you don’t have to carry your bike over the bridge. On the Union Station side, there are four sets of stairs going down to the commuter rail platforms which will also lead you to Wewatta Street.

 

The metal screen that is going across the bridge isn’t at all intrusive. You will be able to watch the trains under you and still feel out in the open!

 

The north side of Wynkoop Plaza is coming along very nicely. The trees have been planted, the hardscaped benches are starting to get installed, and it looks like it will only be a matter of time before we will start to see the granite pavers go in.

 

Here is an above view of the north side of Wynkoop Plaza.

The south side of the plaza is not as far along as the north side because of a few reasons: The South Wing building started after the North Wing, and since this side of the plaza will have the magnificent fountain feature, a lot more underground work had to be completed first. The fountains however are looking more and more complete!

 

Speaking of the Wing Buildings, they are also starting to come together making a huge difference along Wynkoop Street. The first floor of these buildings will be ground floor retail and 4-stories of office space above. Floors 2 through 4 are covered in brick and the 5th floor has a modern glassy facade. Both buildings have glass curtain walls facing the plazas. Here is the North Wing Building which will be occupied by IMA Financial.

 

And the South Wing Building which will be occupied by Antero Resources.

 

Now let’s head over to the commuter rail train hall. There has been a lot of concern about shelter from the elements when waiting for the train. Fear not! If you look closely you can see each platform will have some kind of shelter. Plus, we have 300 or so days of sunshine a year, we wouldn’t want to be completely enclosed while waiting for the train!

 

Here are a couple more shots of the completed commuter rail canopy. The land towards 16th Street in front of the canopy is part of the L-Shaped ‘A Block’ and will get developed one day so let’s enjoy this great open view of the canopy while it lasts; not saying having it closed in wouldn’t be a great sight as well!

 

Let’s wrap up with a shot of the newly opened Wewatta Street. It isn’t very pedestrian friendly at the moment because of three factors: 21-story, 13-story, and 10-story buildings are all under construction between 16th and 17th Street! Also, if you look closely, you can see the continuation of the 17th Street Gardens in the foreground of the Wewatta Pavilion.

May 9th is the day we will be able to experience the brand new Union Station. 8 months to go!

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11 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Awesome! Many thanks for taking time to take all the super pics and keeping us informed. Can’t wait for this to be finished, but watching it change each time is exciting!

  2. Kio says:

    Thanks for the great update! I can’t believe it is only 8 months away. YAY!

  3. Richard says:

    Thank you for the update. I’m looking forward to May 9! Test trains and test scheduling will be going on a few months beforehand, correct?

  4. UrbanZen says:

    Great update, thanks! So I’m probably missing something, but I’m not really seeing the coverage from the elements for the mid platform opposite the Amtrak one. Are they going to eventually mimic what they did for the Amtrak line, or just cover the open sections of the big, white metal tube towers?

    • Nathanael says:

      The “center platform” is for Amtrak servicing (not for passengers) and will probably not have any canopy.

      But I think you were talking about the “Ski Train” platform (as it was originally planned), the one symmetrically opposite the Amtrak platform. If you look carefully, you’ll see the foundations for a canopy which is exactly symmetrical to the Amtrak platform canopy.

    • Nathanael says:

      Oh — I see, you’re talking about the sections of platform under the center of the canopy, where there’s a “low canopy” which is angled, and about a foot over that, a “high canopy” which is round.

      I don’t know whether they’ll have “Amtrak style” canopies pointing the other way or whether they’ll simply roof over the “high canopy”. The pre-construction renderings showed the “high canopy” roofed in Teflon, similarly to the big decorative silly canopy.

  5. Robert says:

    Will it be possible to walk onto the commuter rail platforms from the 16th Street side? I always thought it would be, but I don’t know what the “L-Shaped A-Block” is.

    • Richard says:

      My understanding is that there will be pedestrian connection from 16th St, along the same axis as the ped path between the EPA and Triangle buildings.

    • Nathanael says:

      The “A Block” is the one which will prevent extension of the commuter platforms to the south towards Pueblo. Frankly, any development there should have restrictions placed on it so that in future trains can run right through the building into the Wewatta St. ROW — because eventually, some year, Colorado is going to want to do so.

  6. Nathanael says:

    Thanks for the beautiful shot of the platforms. Photo #3 makes it very clear how they’re going to be laid out. You can even see the different track heights for Amtrak (bilevel cars, low floors) vs. commuter rail (single-level cars, high floors).

  7. Nathanael says:

    You can see the new dormers being added to Union Station in photo #13. They’re going to do that on both sides on both ends.

    http://denverinfill.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-01_SouthWing-03.jpg