King Street Station in Seattle’s once-glorious and much-neglected Pioneer Sqaure, is a beautiful, classic train stop whose clock tower is modeled on San Marco in Venice. It was grand and lovely until the 1950’s, when, in a misguided attempt to modernize, they put in a drop-ceiling, covering the height, windows, and terra cotta carvings on the ceiling. Instantly, the place felt like a bus depot: a cramped and criminal bin for only the most-desperate travelers. Ridership dropped to a trickle. Thanks to some heroic Democratic legislators, spending political capital, and standing up to virulent, inchoate, spittle-flecked, rage-driven opposition, we’re getting the money to update the station, bringing some decency and grace to an area that badly needs it, some jobs to a town that does likewise, and some future-planning to a region that could use it.
This update came out today from the department of transportation.