Railway Relic

A $3.6 million renovation brings a historic train depot into the 21st century

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    Karen Jordan

After years in the making, the Lankershim Train Depot on the Orange and Red lines in North Hollywood has undergone a makeover. Part of the three-room landmark structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be used for “safe pedestrian access” for commuters walking between the rail lines, according to the Metro Transit Authority. So far a tenant has not been named, but one day the building could be the location of a bike hub, a museum or a restaurant.

Metro has presented some tenant proposals to the Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council as well as plans for “more parking and mixed-used properties, expanding the development north on Lankershim,” says David Govea, vice president of the Council.

“I think it’s a beautiful building, and I’m excited to see what’s in plan for the future,” David says. “When you put all these pieces together, we think it will have an extremely transformative effect on the NoHo arts district.”

“We are thrilled that after decades of disrepair the station will once again be an integral part of our community,” adds Mary Garcia, president of the Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council. “This is a kind of ‘Welcome back, we missed you.’”








Originally known as the Toluca Southern Pacific Train Depot, the depot starts out as a high-platform station for loading trains with goods and produce from San Fernando Valley farms and packing plants. The Pacific Electric Company opens a railway line and begins using the depot, which was then known as the North Hollywood Red Car pedestrian station. The depot shuts its doors after the demise of the Pacific Electric Company. The Metro Transit Authority purchases the property. A Prop C half-cent sales tax increase passed by voters that same year helps fund the renovation. The Metro Transit Authority begins the first phase of the restoration—a $3.6
million dollar project. Initial steps include removing contaminated soils and lead-based paint as well as stabilizing the woodwork on the exterior.
The restoration is complete in the fall. A sign on the depot reads “Southern Pacific-Pacific Electric Station,” hearkening back to its nostalgia days.