Twelve years after Metro announced plans to revive a turn of the century train depot in North Hollywood, the project is starting to move, the NoHo Patch reports. Asbestos removal, partial demolition, shoring, stabilization, and materials abatement starts March 16 at the depot, which opened in late 1892 at Lankershim and Chandler, near the current Orange and Red Line stations. The depot once served Red Car trolleys and the Southern Pacific Railroad, but is now owned by Metro, which is not yet certain what it'll become after it's restored. That worries Casey Hallenback, who's preparing his own bid to redevelop the depot and envisions a museum with replicas of Red Cars, a visitor center, food vendors and a place to buy tickets for the Metro (you may recall, he was behind the refurbishment of the historic Phil's Diner, which closed after eight months).
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is backing Hallenbeck's vision and would work with him on the museum component. The museum's Richard Hilton tells Patch he also supports a park in front of the depot; something that existed until Lanksershim was expanded in the 1910s. The idea of turning the depot into simply a Metro service center doesn't sit will with Hilton: "Every year, the cost of such restoration increases and a mere functional use for the building would not uplift the community, nor bus and subway commuters in a comprehensive way."
· MTA's Long-Planned Restoration of Historic North Hollywood Train Depot Set to Begin [NoHo Patch]