Wooden Window

Craftsmanship making history.

Livermore Train Depot

August 30, 2018

In train stations, ordinarily, the trains run and the station stays put. But in July of 2017, the Livermore Train Depot became the exception, as the entire building was lifted and moved from its historic location to Railroad Avenue. So began the process of fully restoring and reconfiguring the 146-year-old building to put it back into use as a transit ticketing office at the Downtown Bus/ACE Transit Center. Wooden Window was privileged to play a role in that effort.

IMG_0034The original depot, built in 1872, was used as a ticketing office for Southern Pacific and Western Pacific rail lines coming through the Altamont pass carrying cattle and agricultural products. The yellow and blue depot functioned as a train station until the early 1960s. In the ‘70s, the tracks adjacent to the building were rerouted, and in 1973 the depot was closed and proposed for demolition.

In response, the Livermore Heritage Guild was formed to preserve historical structures in the city from destruction. In 2009, the building was formally evaluated and recommended for inclusion in the California Register of Historic Resources. It was then determined, against some local resistance, to transport the building from L Street to the Transit Center.


”To move the depot, the building had to be cut in two because it was too long to move as one building. Then it was brought down Railroad Avenue, where movers snaked through two traffic signals — because the building was higher than the signals — over a curb and under power lines that PG&E propped up” (“Patch.Com – GDPR”)

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Photos: Aaron Horrocks Photography

IMG_0602The project was partially funded by a $2.5 million federal grant provided that the relocated structure be used for “transit-related purposes,” and that it be rehabilitated consistent with Federal Historic Standards to its typical condition between the year of its construction and 1941 (“Livermore Web – News Details”).

Engineering consultants Terracon were engaged to evaluate the building’s historic fabric and develop a treatment plan for the restoration and retention of building components.

”After visiting two other historic #18 depots along the west coast, the Terracon preservation team created plans to survey, inventory, and record every piece of historic fabric removed from the building, without damaging the material. Ultimately, the intention was to create a manual to return each historic component to its exact location, and correctly reassemble the building on its new site.” (Urban)

”The recommended rehabilitation plan anticipates the retention of all original, sound siding and exterior decorative materials. Specifically, the overall architectural expression, wooden siding, older wooden windows, first-floor eave, multi-lite glazed doors, ticket window, wood accent trim and decorative woodwork at the Depot will not be altered or removed.” (“Livermore Historic Depot Project”)

IMG_0028Working with general contractor Simile Construction, Wooden Window rehabilitated historic doors an windows throughout the building, replicating where necessary. Fixed, casement and double-hung windows were carefully restored to their original states and replaced in the building, including interior windows for the new ticketing area. The new depot will feature a waiting room, historical displays, a meeting room and 2nd-floor office space.

The Depot in it’s Original Location

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Restoration Underway

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The Depot Restored

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With additional improvements to the foundation, roofing, lighting, heating, and ventilation, the Livermore Train Depot has been reborn as a transist hub for a new generation of passengers and commuters.

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“Livermore Downtown”. Facebook.Com, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10155516490429450&id=50937384449. Accessed 18 Aug 2018.

“Livermore Historic Depot Project”. Wheelsbus.Com, 2018, https://www.wheelsbus.com/rider-information/livermore-historic-depot-project/. Accessed 18 Aug 2018.

“Livermore Web – News Details”. Cityoflivermore.Net, 2018, http://www.cityoflivermore.net/news/displaynews.htm?NewsID=1693&TargetID=1. Accessed 28 Aug 2018.

“Patch.Com – GDPR”. Patch.Com, 2018, https://patch.com/california/livermore/watch-livermores-historic-dolly-depot-move-its-new-home. Accessed 18 Aug 2018.

Nale, Bill. “Livermore History – Railroads – Elivermore.Com”. Elivermore.Com, 2018, http://www.elivermore.com/photos/Hist_lvr_railroad1.htm. Accessed 18 Aug 2018.

Urban, Arianna. “A Historic Homecoming: Relocation Of The Livermore Depot | Terracon”. Terracon, 2018, https://www.terracon.com/2017/09/27/a-historic-homecoming-relocation-of-the-livermore-depot/. Accessed 18 Aug 2018.


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Since 1980, Wooden Window has been constructing and restoring fine and custom-made wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California. Whether a homeowner or building pro, you’ll appreciate our decades of experience and unique mix of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.


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