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Metro Set to Finally Begin Restoration of Historic North Hollywood Train Depot, Still No Idea of What to Do With It

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A peek through the fence at the historic train depot in 2007 (Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)
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The historic train depot at the corner of Chandler and Lankershim in the NoHo Arts District has sat, awaiting the kickstart of a much-needed restoration for years. Finally comes word that Metro is set to begin the refurbishing, and Phase one will start March 16, according to Patch.

The train station is 119 years old, and has been owned by Metro since 1990. "When it first opened in 1893, the train depot [...] was crucial to the rapid growth of the town that was first called Toluca, then Lankershim, and finally, North Hollywood," explains Patch, in a piece that looks at the station's storied past and role in the community. It "is one of the oldest existing structures in the San Fernando Valley and has been named a cultural and historic monument by the city of Los Angeles."

The two- or three-phase project will see the depot refurbished, but its ultimate use remains unclear, as Metro continues to consider ideas for the use of the property. Plans have been tossed around for the past decade, and more, with ideas to make it a transit museum, build an adjoining park, include vendors, and team with the Museum of the San Fernando Valley to include local history. The Museum operates a walking tour of the neighborhood, which is highly recommended for anyone wishing to learn more about this onetime agricultural and economic hub in a growing metropolis.

Just as those potential purposes were up in the air back in the 1990s and 2000s, they remain so today, as Metro plans to take bids on the project. In the meantime, the Community Redevelopment Agency program has been disbanded, in which lay much of the hope--and frustration--over the past 10 years for revitalizing the depot.

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For now, it's soon going to be time to tackle "asbestos removal, selective demolition, shoring, stabilization and materials abatement," via a contract award to Miller Environmental and their bid that came in far under what was anticipated. That should take about 80 days, and, well...it's a start.