ORLANDO—On June 29, 2015, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was joined by District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs and representatives of Amtrak and Orlando Health to celebrate the rehabilitation of the city’s historic train station.
Considered one of the area’s best examples of Mission Revival style architecture, the stucco-clad station includes two towers flanking the entrance and a long, shady arcade. It was designed by well-known architect A.M. Griffith for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and opened to the public in January 1927. The city designated the station a historic local landmark—a structure that represents Orlando’s history, culture and/or heritage—in 1978.
The city kicked off the rehabilitation project in September 2014, the first significant work performed on the building in almost 25 years. Skilled craftspeople repaired the tile roof, twin domes and stucco surfaces, while light fixtures, wood doors and windows were restored. Replacement light fixtures, windows and doors were crafted to blend seamlessly with the originals. By relocating the air conditioning system, the city was able to reopen a side entrance for better pedestrian circulation. New sidewalks and ramps meet ADA requirements. A fresh coat of paint, based on historic color schemes, gives the building a bright and welcoming appearance, as does lush landscaping.
The project was made possible through a partnership between the FDOT and the city of Orlando. A $3 million FDOT Strategic Intermodal Systems (SIS) grant funded the design and improvements to the station. The SIS program focuses on transportation facilities and services of statewide and interregional significance. The city and Orlando Health subsequently partnered to provide a $3 million soft match utilizing the value of projects already built in the surrounding area.
“This project allowed us to improve our transportation infrastructure while also preserving and recognizing our past.” – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
On his blog, Mayor Dyer noted, “By making investments and improvements to our current infrastructure…we are able to connect our community to a variety of affordable alternatives to using a car and increase access to jobs and opportunity, promote active lifestyles and reduce our impact on the environment.”
Located just north of the station is a new SunRailcommuter rail station—a transit plaza allows travelers to easily transfer between Amtrak, commuter trains and Lynx buses. In preparation for the start of SunRail service, the city spent approximately $4 million to enhance streets, parking and sidewalks in the blocks near the Amtrak and commuter stations. The campus of Orlando Health and the Downtown South Main Street District are also within easy walking distance of both transportation facilities.
Orlando is served twice daily by the Silver Meteor (New York-Orlando-Miami) and Silver Star (New York-Orlando-Tampa-Miami). In Fiscal Year 2014, more than 155,000 travelers began or ended their journeys at the downtown station.
All photos courtesy of the city of Orlando.