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Old Oklahoma City train depot turns into new transportation hub

OKLAHOMA CITY - It seems like downtown Oklahoma City is constantly undergoing renovations to expand and update areas that haven't grown the popularity of the region.

However, a local architecture firm is hoping to keep a bit of history intact while updating a historic train station.

The City of Oklahoma City hired Historic Preservation Architect Rick Lueb's firm to restore the old Santa Fe depot, a former bustling building for travelers.

"We've returned it to that same ambiance of travel, which was the heyday of the travel of the city. All of the veterans who went to war in World War II came through this facility in this area," Lueb said.

The firm decided to keep the original terrazzo floors throughout the building, and the exterior is still stained with the exhaust from trains.

This more than 18,000-square-foot building will house offices and businesses, but its main purpose is to be the intermodal transportation hub for people to catch a train, hop on to the MAPS street car, rent a bicycle or get on the bus.

It's all part of a bigger $28.4 million project.

The Santa Fe Depot is phase one but, by the end of 2018, there's going to be a tunnel that will connect downtown to Bricktown. It will make it more pedestrian friendly.

"It's just so cool to see these kind of projects actually come together to preserve that history. You know, once it's gone, it's gone forever, just preserved in photographs,” he said.

The City is planning a grand opening party in October.

Our partner OKC Talk contributed to this story.