Monday, March 6, 2017
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined Congressman Richard E. Neal today to give members of the news media a tour of Union Station, which is nearing the completion of a $95 million renovation. The train station was built in 1926 and is set to re-open as a state-of-the-art transportation center. A press conference with local stake holders was be held in the Grand Concourse under the refurbished original clock.
Mayor Sarno stated, “’Back to the future!’ A huge thank you to Congressman Richard E. Neal on his stick-to-itiveness on this major economic development project – it is part of our $3.3 billion of public and private economic development projects in the City of Springfield. This will not only be a boon for transportation initiatives, but also for West Mass and beyond, with North/South and East/West rail. Again, I’m very appreciative of Congressman Neal and my city team’s efforts, led by my Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy.”
After closing its doors in the 1970’s, the participating members of the news media were the first to see the rebirth and transformation of a structure that has played a significant role in the history of Springfield. In the Grand Concourse alone, the original Eastern Standard Clock has been refurbished, the distinctive Terrazzo floors have been restored, period lighting recreated, an authentic baggage cart has been returned and a series of eight dramatic murals by local artist Ed Pessolano that chronicle Springfield’s rich history along with the importance of rail in the region have been hung throughout the terminal.
The rehabilitation of the building has been a goal of Congressman Neal's career and through partnership with Mayor Sarno and the City of Springfield, is a significant achievement in the local community. Functions later in the year commemorating the grand opening will be a celebration of Union Station’s past, present and future. It will also represent the beginning of a new era of expanded rail travel in the region.