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Movement: A photo essay of the Sacramento Valley Station

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It’s as if the ghosts of all those who have traveled through these halls before us can still be heard… I find myself yet again walking through empty rooms that echo not only my footsteps, but the seeming sounds of the past

The Sacramento Valley Station finds itself as a hub of transportation for the Sacramento area. Currently serving as an intermodal complex, the facility includes Amtrak, light rail, regional bus services and taxi amenities.

The public portions of the building are those that many are familiar with such as the main hall, or passenger waiting area, where customers purchase tickets or pass through to the facilities outside to the north. Outside are the bus berths, passenger tunnel and platforms, areas for taxis, and of course the rail lines themselves.

What the public doesn’t see are the dilapidated and crumbling rooms, once used as restaurants and offices. Light rich rooms, these areas have moods all to themselves. A large main hall that was used as a restaurant area reverberates densely as the building creaks and moans. Smaller offices are calm and quiet in their desolation.

They all sit empty, unusable due to their lack of upkeep, failure to meet building codes and absence of basics, such as elevators, restrooms and heating and cooling systems.

The building, constructed in 1926, marked the terminus of the first Transcontinental Railroad. Over the years, neglect of the facilities took its toll on the aging walls. The materials, though of quality, have simply outlived their life span.

The building itself qualifies as a historic property under the National Historic Preservation Act and is listed in historic registers, including the California Register of Historical Resources and National Register of Historic Places, among others.

More recently the City has put forth a federal grant application, with hopes of receiving approximately 28 million dollars of leverage money. The funds will go towards revitalizing the entire facility, to make use of the 53,000 square feet of space not being used and rehabilitating the historic features.

In the meantime, the City is now retrofitting the station to meet current standards for earthquake safety, as well as adding upgrades for people with disabilities, using an already granted sum of $11 million in federal and state monies.
 

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