WINTER PARK, FLA.—On March 3, 2014, officials representing Amtrak, the Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) gathered with Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley, U.S. Congressman John Mica and residents to dedicate the city’s new train station. The 2,400 square foot building, which accommodates Amtrak intercity passenger rail service, future SunRail commuter rail service and local Lynx buses, replaces a 1962 structure built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Amtrak plans to move to the new facility in the coming weeks. Following the ribbon-cutting, attendees were invited to tour the depot and a SunRail train.
Designed by local firm ACiInc., the new $1.2 million, LEED-certified depot fronts Central Park and the adjacent shopping and dining district. Craftsman-style detailing reflects Winter Park’s historic early 20th century architecture. Features include decorative brackets in the eaves, eyebrow and shed dormers, a fanciful cupola and latticework along the columned porch. Looking up, travelers spot a unique weather vane bearing the city’s official symbol—a peacock.
Inside, passengers enter a sun-filled Grand Hall flanked by a seating area, ticket office and fully accessible restrooms. Rich cherry wood is used in the trim around doors and windows, as well as in the beams on the ceiling. Craftsman-style chandeliers feature groups of small lanterns. Around the ticket desk, glass tile in shades of green, royal blue and brown mimic a peacock’s lustrous feathers.
As part of the planning for SunRail service, each proposed stop received $6,500 from FDOT to fund public artwork through the “Art in Transit” program. The city’s Public Art Advisory Board worked with FDOT to solicit installations “evocative of Winter Park’s character, aesthetic and unique sense of place.” Resident artist Diane Gillett Boswell won the commission. Her work, to be installed later this spring, is entitled “Tree Whisperers” and features eight photographic panels dominated by elegant trees echoing those found throughout the downtown.
Due to increasing ridership in the 2000s, town officials began to consider the construction of a larger, more modern train station. In 2009, Winter Park won a $950,000 grant through the FTA’s Bus and Bus Facilities program, which it matched by more than $237,000 in local funding. The project was eligible for the federal support because the new station is also a stop for LYNX buses serving the greater Orlando area.
Images courtesy of the city of Winter Park.