In February, Metro turned a long-abandoned 19th-century train depot in NoHo into a shiny new outpost for Groundworks coffee, and now the transit agency is working on a similar project in Monrovia, where a derelict Santa Fe station sits adjacent to the new Gold Line stop.
Construction crews are busy cleaning up the 1926 edifice, a historical landmark that has been empty for about four decades. After work finishes—which it’s expected to by year’s end—a yet-to-be-announced restaurant will move into the Spanish Colonial Revival station in the spring. This week, Metro announced that “all of the metal works, tiles and columns are restored originals, while the former train platform is set to become outdoor dining space.”
Aside from making it easier to get around, one of the wonderful things about rail expansion in greater Los Angeles is the changes the stations often bring to neglected areas. We’ve seen the Expo Line transform a blighted section of Culver City, and North Hollywood has grown immensely since the Red Line arrived in 2000.
Of the five cities that added stations last year as part of the Gold Line Foothill Extension (Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa), Monrovia has taken the most advantage of the amenity. The Station Square Transit Village transformed the area around the stop, with a lovely new park, an amphitheater, the Santa Fe depot renovation, and a 261-unit apartment complex now under construction. Monrovia never sounded so inviting.
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