NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — City officials announced Thursday the completion of a $3.6 million restoration effort of a North Hollywood train station aimed at preserving a little piece of Southern California history.

KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports the three-room depot at Lankershim and Chandler has undergone a major transformation, complete with a new building foundation and roof, electric and plumbing systems, platforms, signage and seismic upgrades.

About 70 percent of the original structure – which was originally built in 1896 and historically known as the Toluca Southern Pacific Train Depot – has been completely rehabilitated by Metro contractors, who have also restored sidings, windows, and doors, according to officials.

Painted with its original colors of mustard yellow and brown, the depot and outside platform area features a sign on the roof that reads “Southern Pacific-Pacific Electric Station”, a reference to nearly a century ago when the depot primarily served as a passenger and freight rail stop.

Despite its makeover, however, the station near the Orange Busway and the Red Line light rail will remain unoccupied until Metro officials determine the best use for the property.

Proposed concepts for the depot include a bike hub, museum, coffee shop, restaurant or even a combination of those elements, Metro officials said.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavky, who was on hand for the building’s dedication ceremony, said it was critical for Metro to step in and preserve the station.

“It’s been there for over a hundred years and it was falling apart, we didn’t want to have to destroy it,” said Yaroslavsky. “We don’t have a whole lot of history in Los Angeles when it comes to our old buildings, especially from the 19th century, and this was an opportunity to do that.”

The work was paid for with $2.5 million in Proposition C half-cent sale tax monies and $1.1 million from the city, according to Metro spokesman Dave Sotero.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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