The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun the initial phase of work to restore the 1896 Southern Pacific Railroad depot from the San Fernando valley farming town of Lankershim, now known as North Hollywood. The decaying wooden structure sits at the corner of Lankershim and Chandler boulevards. Local historians took up the cause of saving the depot more than a decade ago. It's now owned by Metro. The Daily News' Bob Strauss and photographer Andy Holzman check in on the much-delayed project. (Nice photo gallery.)
"The building has 100-plus years of lead-based paint on it and asbestos shingles on the roof," noted Tom Lee, senior construction manager at Metro and resident engineer for the project. "Both are hazardous, and they have to be removed while trying to preserve as much as possible of the original structure."
The environmental cleanup phase is expected to be completed by the end of May. Anaheim-based Miller Environmental contracted to perform the work for $246,326, well below the Metro's original engineer estimate of $405,000.
Metro will go out for bids again once the environmental cleanup phase is completed and phase two, the actual restoring of the building, commences.
"The structure itself needs extensive remedial work without damaging the original building," Lee said of phase two. "And depending on how much of the original materials can be salvaged - I'm sure we can't salvage it all - we'll have to go out and get reasonable reproductions of the original material."
Daily News photo by Andy Holzman