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Metro finishes $3.6 million makeover of Lankershim Depot

Los Angeles Metro announced Thursday that it's completed a $3.6 million restoration of the historic Lankershim Depot in North Hollywood.

About 70 percent of the structure, originally built in 1896, has been restored, according to a press release.

“Metro has given the Lankershim Depot a Hollywood-style makeover,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in the release. Garcetti also serves on Metro's board. “The depot has played a prominent role in the history of North Hollywood and will play a supporting role in its rebirth as the Valley’s preeminent transit hub.”

The 118-year-old Southern Pacific train depot, which sits near Metro’s North Hollywood Orange and Red Line stations, now has the original paint colors of mustard yellow and brown, according to the release. It also includes its original sign on the roof that reads “Southern Pacific — Pacific Electric Station."

“Now seismically upgraded, fully repaired and revitalized to its original luster with an authentic period paint scheme, the Lankershim Depot is a striking visual beacon that reflects the San Fernando Valley’s rich transportation legacy," said L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in the release. Yaroslavsky also serves on Metro's board.

The depot started out as a high platform station for loading trains for a local packing plant and cannery industries and farms, according to the release. In 1911, the Pacific Electric Company opened its line through North Hollywood. It was incorporated into a dual service station for both the Southern Pacific and the Pacific Electric Red Car until 1952.

During the first phase of Lankershim Depot’s restoration in 2010, contaminated soils, roofing and lead-based paint throughout the structure were removed, along with stabilizing the outside woodwork, according to the release. The latest phase of restoration for the depot’s exterior and foundation began in September 2013.

The depot will not be occupied until Metro determines a use for the property, according to the release. Some initial ideas for the property include a bike hub, museum, coffee shop, restaurant or a combination of any of those. Once the depot is occupied, there will be additional work to restore the corner park and rebuild railroad tracks next to the station. 

The project was largely funded by a 0.5 percent sales tax increase approved in 1990, Proposition C,  combined with $1.1 million provided by the City of Los Angeles, according to the release.