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Denver Union Station Update #125

Amtrak’s return to Denver Union Station was a great event and we were able to get a great look at the new train hall canopy. In case you missed it, head on over to DenverUrbanism to check it out! In this update, we are going to revisit the canopy during the day.

Even during the day, this structure is awe striking; not to mention very large. While walking through the platforms, you will notice that  this train hall will serve both as a very functional train station and a great open public space.

 

 

Shelter from the weather was a very popular subject when the station was under construction and, given the station is almost complete, Amtrak will have the only covered platforms. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. When it is precipitating it would be nice to have some kind of shelter. Shelter, however, can be found everywhere. there are large areas of the train hall that are covered, including platform 1 which is reserved for the A-Line to Denver International Airport. You can also seek shelter under Amtrak’s platform 3, which is a central point between all of the other platforms, inside the historic structure and down in the underground bus facility. I was more concerned about the ice that was under all of the platforms. Because of the brand new concrete, ice melt cannot be used yet. Fear not, I was assured by a Denver Transit Partners supervisor that this will not be a problem next winter.

 

Here are two additional pictures of the station: The covered walkway to the historic station, and the 18th Street pedestrian bridge. The metal fence over the tracks on the pedestrian bridge looks sharp and will still be able to provide a great view to watch trains go to and from the station!

 

Last but not least, here is an example of the signage that will be used throughout the station. It is very straight forward with different icons and colors depending on the mode of transportation you are taking.

This will be the last time we visit Denver Union Station’s train hall canopy until its grand opening on May 9th. We will see you then!


Denver Union Station Update #124

In case you haven’t already checked out Ryan’s fantastic photos—and time lapse video!—of Amtrak’s return Friday night to Denver Union Station, please do so over at DenverUrbanism.

Great job, Ryan! And congratulations to Amtrak and to the entire Denver Union Station project team. The next milestone for the Union Station project is May 9 when Wynkoop Plaza and RTD’s underground Union Station Bus Concourse will open.


Denver Union Station Update #123

Earlier this month, on DenverUrbanism, we reported that the lighting on the new Commuter Rail train hall canopy was being tested. We weren’t entirely sure if the lighting would be on every night or if we had to wait until the Union Station project was complete. The answer is, the train hall appears to be lit up every night.

I recently took a little photo adventure and decided to take some photos of the canopy. Needless to say, it is very impressive at night and it looks outstanding.

 

We already know a bunch of infill is going to be built around the the canopy. This will give the train station a great urban feel while still being a very impressive station in between all of the new buildings. Here are some additional shots with The Platform tower rising just to the west of the canopy.

 

To think, it was just over a year ago we saw the first structural elements of the canopy go up. A lot has happened since then! In case you missed it, make sure you head over to DenverUrbanism for a great in depth tour from inside the canopy!


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!


Denver Union Station Update #121

Good news has recently been delivered by RTD about the opening day for Denver Union Station: May 9th, 2014! While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are finally starting to see everything come together. In this update, we are going to take a look at the redevelopment from Wynkoop Street, Millennium Bridge, and the 18th Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Let’s start with the wing buildings. Over the past couple weeks the tower cranes have been removed from both sites and we can start to get a sense of scale for these buildings. Here’s the North Wing building. A lot of the brick facade has gone up and thanks to the wind moving some plastic coverings around, we can see the glassy portion facing Wynkoop Plaza.

Here is a view of how the North Wing building fits in along with the historic station.

Now that there are no tower cranes in the picture, you can see the South Wing building is very architecturally similar to the North Wing building.

Trees have been planted at Wynkoop Plaza and the plumbing for fountains has started to get filled in. Also, right now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the entire historic station wrapped in scaffolding!

Here is something I have yet to do with these updates: A panorama of the progress being made behind the station. This first one is off of Millennium Bridge. Here we can see (going left to right) the new lightrail station and plaza, the Alta City House parking structure, Chestnut Pavilion, the new mall shuttle loop, Cadence, the 1650 Wewatta crane, the commuter rail canopy, and the South Wing building. Make sure you click to zoom! Click here for a super high-resolution version!

Here is another view off of the 18th Street pedestrian bridge. There are still a lot of empty parcels that need to be filled in but progress is being made quicker than we expected! Click here for a super-high resolution version!

May 9th is coming up soon! This will be the last summer we will be following the construction of this great project!


Denver Union Station Update #115

This is a very short Denver Union Station development update.

The first fabric panels are being installed on the commuter rail canopy structure!


Denver Union Station Update #114

Many of you have been down at Denver Union Station for the opening of the W-Line and probably noticed construction keeps on rolling. This is a very exciting time in this whole redevelopment because we are starting to see everything come together.

A month ago, both wing buildings were barely out of the ground. Now, the south wing building has one floor until it tops out while the north wing building has two floors to go.

 

Wynkoop Plaza is also coming along nicely. If you remember Ken’s last Union Station update, these are going to be very impressive fountains which extend the entire length of the south wing of the historic station.

 

On the north side of the canopy structure, the pedestrian bridge has started to take shape. This is the bridge that will be connected to the north wing building giving you access to the commuter rail platforms and the underground bus facility from Wynkoop Street.

 

There are three rail platforms that stop short of the canopy. Construction for these platforms has also started.

 

Between the redevelopment of Denver Union Station and all of the private sector development going on, this is quite the site to see! Head down there to check it out and ride the W-Line if you haven’t yet! Also, make sure to keep checking DenverUrbanism for the next few days for some W-Line greatness!


RTD West Line Countdown at DenverUrbanism!

We’re now only four days away from the grand opening of RTD’s West Line to Golden! To celebrate the occasion, we are doing a five-day countdown over at DenverUrbanism: each day a new transit-related post. Then, after our Opening Day post this Friday, we’ll do another five-day’s worth of transit posts (a “countup”!) to continue the celebration.

Photo credit: Ryan Dravitz

So, make sure you check out DenverUrbanism every day to help commemorate Denver’s rail transit system growing by another 12 miles!