St. Paul's Union Depot unveils jaw-dropping transformation

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Saturday marks the beginning of a new journey for the St. Paul Union Depot, city and transportation officials say, as they open the doors to the public on a spectacular $243 million renovation of the 1923 structure.

A number of original details were preserved in the rehab of the neoclassical building, which has been remade as an east metro hub for a new generation of light-rail commuters and bike, train and bus travelers.

MPR has photos of the newly renovated depot.

The depot will serve Central Corridor light-rail users. But the redesign allows for future growth of high-speed rail to Chicago, as well as additional light-rail and bus rapid-transit lines, the Star Tribune reports.

The station has a rich history. Built by St. Paul railroad magnate James J. Hill, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the late 1920s, Union Depot had as many as 300 trains and 20,000 passengers every day, according to its webpage. It's been closed as a rail station since 1971.

A day of events Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. with remarks from public officials.

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