After five years and $55 million, the Seattle Department of Transportation unveiled the newly restored King Street Station near Pioneer Square with an official ceremony.
The 107-year-old train station was brought back to its original style and condition, with intricate plaster relief work on the ceilings, marble walls, and mosaic tile floors.
Mayor Mike McGinn and a few hundred people were there for the unveiling of the restoration on Wednesday. Although it cost around $7 million to restore the elaborate finishes on the inside of the building, the most expensive part of the renovation was retrofitting the turn-of –the-century structure to withstand an earthquake.
The train station opened in 1906, but in the 1950s, the railroad decided to modernize the building.
The waiting room was restored to its original grandeur with marble walls, glass mosaic tile wall band, terrazzo floors and a new grand chandelier.
Among other things, they installed a drop ceiling, which covered up the plaster work. Once the replacement ceiling was removed, workers had to patch several holes from the bolts that were used to hang the mid-century ceiling.
Work also included restoring the building’s iconic clock tower.
The train station is now fully open for Amtrak passengers, who will wait for their trains in the open, elaborate waiting room, just like passengers did more than 100 years ago.
During the ceremony, the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band performed.