Santa Fe Station

Lawrence, KS (2019)

413 East 7th Street

Walking into the Santa Fe Station takes you back to 1955, when it was constructed. Windows, flooring, ticket station and even the furniture are either original or rehabilitated to the day the station opened. The Lawrence Journal World carried a front-page story in 1956 with the headline “Gratitude shown to Santa Fe for Local Progress.” The article states that the Station was a “plush, ultra-modern” building originally constructed for $140,000. The station is 4,670 square feet and is a great example of Mid-Century Modern architecture. It was designed by architects Warren Corman and Warren Jones and dedicated on February 7, 1956. In 2008, the City Commission pursued the acquisition and restoration of the Santa Fe Station. Hernly Associates completed a Historic Structure Report in 2009.  In 2011, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) was granted a High Speed Intercity and Passenger Rail grant through the Federal Railroad Administration on behalf of the City to complete the design for the improvements, based on the Historic Structure Report.  In 2013, the City received a Transportation Enhancement Grant from KDOT. The station building was formally transferred from the BNSF Railway to the City of Lawrence in 2017.  A long-term land lease was executed with the BNSF and Amtrak.  Construction began in 2018 and was completed in early 2019. 

Hernly Associates assisted with the completion of site work, exterior changes, interior updates and mechanical work. Changes completed include the addition of a 10-foot wide shared-use sidewalk in front of the building along with additional sidewalks at 7th and New York Street. Brick masonry was repaired and the exterior features were repainted to match the building’s original colors. Deteriorated steel canopy columns and roofing were replaced; mounted storm windows were installed in the interior of the building; flooring was refinished. The original metal wall base was repaired and repainted; plaster walls were patched and painted to match original colors. Deteriorated ceilings were replaced with acoustical ceiling tiles matching original tiles. Mechanical work included updated electrical systems and refurbished original light fixtures. Heating and air-conditioning systems were replaced. Several other rehabilitation projects were completed, including accessibility improvements; Amtrak funded many of these improvements. 

Based on its importance to transportation and railroad history and its architecture style, the Santa Fe Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 5, 2018; it is also on the Kansas Register of Historic Places and the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.   

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