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Sacramento Valley Station upgrade meeting

“The tracks will be moved by 2010.”
Meeting May 1, 2008
Report and Photos by Marcia Johnston, RailPAC Director, Sacramento

I attended the presentation of the consultants on the upgrade of the Sacramento Valley Station. Here are some notes I took at the meeting, along with some photos of the panel members.

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Panel members are as follows: [from left to right] Kevin Pressy, HMR Architects, Michael O’Brien, HMR Architects, Cynthia Krantz, Facilities Manager, City of Sacramento, Hinda Chandler, Project Manager, City of Sacramento – Railyards [not pictured]

The Sacramento Valley Assessment Report was prepared by HMR Architects and was presented as a power point presentation by the consultants. The rather lengthy report is also on line.

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The key points presented from their analysis:

  • The Sacramento Valley Station is the one of the busiest passenger depots on the West Coast. It was originally named the Southern Pacific Railroad Sacramento Depot. The structure was designed by Bliss and Faville based in San Francisco, California. Construction was completed in 1926.
  • The Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historic Resources and Cultural Resources.
  • The main parts of the depot appear to be relatively intact. The second and third floors were used as offices at various times, but are now vacant.
  • The building has been in continuous use as a railroad depot since the date it was completed.
  • A structural evaluation was completed in 2002 as stated in the report by Simpson, Gumpertz & Herger Consulting, Inc., Consulting Engineers
  • The outside brick is in good condition, along with the windows. The plywood needs to be removed, along with removal of the air conditioning units.
  • One of the canopies has been removed and is being restored. It will be installed in its original place.
  • The waiting room has 8 out of 10 benches remaining in good shape.
  • Most of the meeting room floors have the original marble that is still in good shape.
  • One of the ground floor offices, [the one in which we were meeting] originally housed a restaurant. This area has been abandoned for some time. The original ice box and other coolers remain and appear to still be operable. The suspended ceiling needs to be removed to see the plaster and molding.
  • The second floor offices do not have many changes from the historical layout. The Southern Pacific vaults are original.
  • The third floor offices have been modified extensively with wood paneling over the original plaster. The plaster underneath the wood paneling remains in great shape. The suspended acoustic [drop] ceiling is in poor condition and needs to be removed. There are no immediate plans to lodge a tenant due to the lack of an elevator [ADA requirements] and the lack of air conditioning.
  • The restrooms still have the original ceramic tile remaining. It needs to be current with the ADA requirements.
  • The electrical and mechanical systems are located in the basement. The plumbing has outlived its lifespan, and there is very little water pressure within the building. The electrical has exposed wires. [Note: considering the photo of the electrical system, I’m surprised it hasn’t caused a fire!]
  • The City has prioritized the repair work/maintenance for the building. They have received $400,000 in historical funding. The priorities are those listed as safety issues.

  • Cleanup of the area [bird droppings, rat feces, debris]
  • Back roof repair – the one to the trains.
  • Balustrade repair [decoration around the building] to be secured to the building.
  • Remove plywood over windows; cleanup and renovate.
  • Historical doors to be renovated: Remove plywood, entry security, ADA accessible.
  • Electrical wiring has to be brought up to code compliance. This is the design part.
  • Much of the renovation is seasonable – windows, doors, roofs
  • Preservation standards will need to be followed. The Preservation Commission will recommend and adopt the master plan for these renovations.
  • All work listed above needs to be done whether or not the station is to be moved. Most of the repairs are to be done for safety and aesthetics concerns.

    Some comments as to other work on the intermodal facility: The track relocation will be completed by 2010. There were some comments as to the moving of the station itself, but the City is not making a decision at this time.

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